Call for Competitive low-carbon energy H2020-LCE-2014-1 Closed!


The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) is implemented by specific programme and work programmes.

The “Societal challenges” responds directly to the policy priorities and societal challenges that are identified in the Europe 2020 strategy and that aim to stimulate the critical mass of research and innovation efforts needed to achieve the Union's policy goals.

The specific objective is to fully exploit the potential of Europe's talent pool and to ensure that the benefits of an innovation-led economy are both maximised and widely distributed across the Union in accordance with the principle of excellence.

Funding shall be focused on the following specific objectives:
(a) Health, demographic change and well-being.
(b) Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research. and the bioeconomy.
(c) Secure, clean and efficient energy.
(d) Smart, green and integrated transport.
(e) Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.
(f) Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies.
(g) Secure societies - Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.


Actions foreseen within this call for proposals include the following topics:

  • LCE-01-2014: New knowledge and technologies. The technologies that will form the backbone of the energy system by 2030 and 2050 are still under development. Promising technologies for energy conversion are being developed at laboratory scale and need to be scaled up in order to demonstrate their potential value in our future energy system. These new technologies should provide more flexibility to the energy system and could help adapting to changing climatic conditions. New knowledge and more efficient and cost-competitive energy technologies, including their supply chains, are required for the long run. It is crucial that these new technologies show evidence of promising developments and do not represent a risk to society. Developments in sectors other than energy may provide ideas, experiences, technology contributions, knowledge, new approaches, innovative materials and skills that are of relevance to the energy sector. Cross-fertilisation could therefore offer mutually beneficial effects.


  • LCE-11-2014: Developing next generation technologies for biofuels and sustainable alternative fuels. Europe has limited biomass and land resources to cope with an increased demand for fuels and other uses. Thus, in the long-term perspective, new technologies of sustainable biofuels and alternative fuels need to be developed that radically improve the state-of-art, notably in regards to the following sub-challenges:

a)Improving conversion efficiency and/or enlargement of the biomass feedstock basis.
b)Developing alternative fuels through use of new and sustainable resources from non-biomass non-fossil sources. c) Improving the economic, environmental and social benefits relative to fossil fuels and currently available biofuels, notably regarding cost reduction, minimisation of demand on natural resources (land and water in particular), enhanced energy balance, reduced GHG emissions (including carbon stock changes) and development of rural areas.

  • LCE-15-2014: Enabling decarbonisation of the fossil fuel-based power sector and energy intensive industry through CCS. The EU is committed to an overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of at least 80% by 2050. Nonetheless, fossil fuels will continue to be used in Europe's power generation as well as in other industrial processes for decades to come. Therefore, the 2050 target can only be achieved if the emissions from fossil fuel combustion in the power generation sector and energy intensive industries are eliminated from the system. This will require the application of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). The assessments made in the context of the EU's Roadmap for the transition to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050 and the Energy Roadmap 2050 see CCS as an important technology contributing to decarbonisation scenarios in the EU, with 7% to 32% of all power generation using CCS by 2050. The application of CCS to industrial sectors other than power (e.g. steel, cement, lime, chemical industry, refining) is expected to deliver half of the global emissions reduction from CCS by 2050. In the near future, these industrial applications will open up new opportunities and avenues for CCS that can accelerate its deployment. For all applications, the demonstration of CO2 storage is of major importance. Therefore, two key challenges in the short-term for driving CCS to deployment are geological storage and the application of CCS to industrial sectors other than power, including bio-CCS.


  • LCE-02-2014: Developing the next generation technologies of renewable electricity and heating/cooling.
  1. Photovoltaics: Developing next generation high performance PV cells and modules – Highly efficient, novel PV concepts, need to be developed based e.g. on advanced materials and processes, and/or innovative approaches to light management and solar spectrum matching/modification. The challenge is to bring practical performance close to theoretical limits.
  2. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP): Making CSP plants more cost competitive – Increasing the efficiency and reducing the construction, operation and maintenance costs of CSP plants are the main challenges. Innovative solutions and concepts are necessary in order to increase plant performance and reduce cost through improved components, improved plant control and operation, and innovative plant configurations.
  3. Wind energy: Develop control strategies and innovative substructure concepts - There is a need for i) control strategies and systems for new and/or large rotors and wind farms (on- and offshore); ii) new innovative substructure concepts, including floating platforms, to reduce production, installation and O&M costs for water depths of more than 50m.
  4. Ocean energy: Develop emerging designs and components – Innovative designs and components are needed to ensure efficient and effective long-term cost reduction as well as to achieve high levels of reliability and survivability for at least 20 years in harsh conditions.
  5. Hydropower: Boosting peak power through sustainable hydropower – Existing hydropower stations need refurbishment and this opportunity should be used to modernise the power plants. Therefore, innovative and improved turbines or generators and related main equipment having a more robust design allowing operation in a wider range of heads and loads to increase power output, improve efficiency and dynamics should be developed.
  6. Deep geothermal energy: Development of new drilling technologies and concepts for geothermal energy – New drilling technologies and concepts are necessary to increase the number of economically viable geothermal resources, including in hard rock and high temperature/pressure conditions, and have a demonstrably smaller environmental footprint by comparison to existing drilling methodologies. Cross-fertilisation with hydrothermal oil and gas technologies and operations shall be explored.
  7. Renewable Heating and Cooling. Solar cooling systems and  Improving efficiency of biomass CHP systems while widening the feedstock base. 
  • LCE-16-2014: Understanding, preventing and mitigating the potential environmental impacts and risks of shale gas exploration and exploitation. Gas shales have a very low porosity and permeability, and have to be fractured pervasively to create high-permeability pathways for the gas to migrate towards the wells. The fracturing process is subject to discussion, as it requires the injection of large amounts of water and chemicals, a part of which are eventually brought back to the surface. There are also concerns that the fractures may cause natural gas to leak into shallower aquifers that are used for drinking water supplies. In addition, the fracturing process can cause microseismicity, which - when felt at the surface - may give rise to public concerns. The most imminent challenge for shale gas extraction is therefore to address the associated environmental concerns, in particular through a better understanding and monitoring of the fracturing process and its environmental effects (including in the long term), treatment and recycling of flow-back and produced water, and mitigation of induced seismicity and emissions to air (including greenhouse gases).

European community funding

The Community provisional funding available for the call for proposals is:

  • 113,00 Million EUR (Global Budget)

All the important deadlines

  • 01 April 2014 - 7 years ago (Deadline for the presentation of proposals)

Further information about the call

Official webpage of the call

Useful documents

  • Call for Competitive low-carbon energy (Legal base)

Organisations eligible to participate

Opened to the following bodies or institutes with legal status established in the covered areas:

  • Any legal organisation

Covered areas

Bodies or institutes must have their registered legal seat in one of the countries taking part in the Programme which are:

  • European Union (EU)

Directorate-Generale responsible

Directorate-General for Research

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