Horizon 2020: Energy Efficiency Call Summaries

Wärmedämmung mit Hohlräumen / Thermal insulation with cavities
Thermal insulation with cavities by BASF CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Horizon 2020 Energy Efficient Buildings Call 2015 is making up to €62M available for research,development, and coordination activities to intensify the drive to energy neutral buildings by 2020:

“By the end of 2020 (2018 for buildings occupied and owned by public authorities), all new buildings should comply with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive obligations and thus meet ‘nearly zero-energy’ performance levels using innovative, cost-optimal technologies with integration of renewable energy sources on site or nearby.”

The following is a summary of some of the individual calls for proposals which make up the Energy Efficient Buildings programme under Horizon 2020. I’ve also included a few other related calls which fall under the wider banner of “energy efficiency” in Horizon 2020. All of these calls are, at the time of publication, currently open and I have included deadlines and an estimated project budget. I’ve grouped the calls by action type, i.e. Research & Innovation Actions, Innovation Actions, and Coordination and Support Actions, with a description of each type under the heading. However, you should read the full text of each call because this will clarify the expected Technology Readiness Level for each project.

Research & Innovation Actions

R&I actions usually aim to establish new knowledge and/or explore the feasibility of a new or improved product or process. They may contain limited demonstration and pilot activities designed to show the new product in an operational environment. Of all the H2020 action types, these are closest to the kind of work funded by Research Councils in the UK. The funding rates for all participants (whether industry, SME, university or other public body) is 100% of eligible direct costs, plus 25% of those costs as a flat rate contribution towards overheads.

Call Title Description Deadline Estimated Budget
Integrated solutions of thermal energy storage for building applications (EeB-06-2015) Proposals should address advanced solutions required to reduce thermal losses, reduce pressure drops, and improve heat exchange in and between storage material and heat carrier. Having in mind a system approach, innovations are required at different levels. High energy density storage materials are needed in terms of long term multi-cyclic stability at tuneable temperature levels. These advanced energy storage materials should allow regeneration temperatures in a range below 100oC to enable a higher efficiency and effectiveness of thermal energy storage of at least 6 times the energy storage density of water. 04/02/2015 €3-6M
New ICT-based solutions for energy efficiency (EE-11-2015) The focus should be on the creation of innovative IT ecosystems that would develop services and applications making use of information generated by energy consumers (e.g. through social networks) or captured from sensors (e.g. smart meters, smart plugs, social media) and micro-generation. These applications range from Apps for smart phones and tablets to serious games to empower consumers stimulate collaboration and enable full participation in the market. 04/06/2015 €1.5-2M
Technology for district heating and cooling (EE-13-2015) Proposals should focus on one or more of the following areas: 1) develop, demonstrate and deploy a new generation of highly efficient, intelligent district heating and cooling systems; 2) bring down heat distribution losses and integrate storage; 3) develop optimisation, control, metering, planning and modelling tools; 4) develop new solutions for low temperature heat recovery and recirculation. 04/06/2015 €1.5-2M
New technologies for utilization of heat recovery in large industrial systems, considering the whole energy cycle from heat production to transformation, delivery and end use (EE-18-2015) Research and demonstration on technologies, technical and operational approaches to recover waste heat from industrial processes, from material flows originating in industrial processes (e.g. waste streams, by-products, intermediates) or plant perimeters and to transform it into useful energy forms. 04/06/2015 €3-4M

Innovation Actions

Innovation actions take up more or less where R&I actions finish, they provide funding for activities which may include prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, large-scale product validation and market replication. They may include limited research and development activities, but are primarily geared towards prototyping, demonstrating and testing previously existing technology/knowledge. This is similar to the the kind of work funded by the Technology Strategy Board in the UK. The funding rates are 70% of direct costs for profit-making entities (i.e. SMEs, industry) and 100% of direct costs for non-profits (e.g. universities) plus 25% of direct costs as a flat rate contribution towards overheads.

Call Title Description Deadline Estimated Budget
Buildings design for new highly energy performing buildings (EE-02-2015) Projects should focus on development and demonstration of solutions which significantly reduce the cost of new buildings with at least ‘nearly zero-energy’ performance levels, whilst accelerating significantly the speed with which these buildings and their systems are taken up by the market. 04/02/2015 €3-5M
Innovative design tools for refurbishing of buildings at district level (EeB-05-2015) Research activities should be focused on design at buildings and district level, taking into account the adjacent systems such as district heating/cooling and decentralised thermal energy generation and other interactions with the neighbourhood, giving priority to local renewable resources. Projects should promote and set up an integrated approach in support of innovation, by providing actors with holistic methods and tools. 04/02/2015 €4-7M
New tools and methodologies to reduce the gap between predicted and actual energy performances at the level of buildings and blocks of buildings (EeB-07-2015) At building level, the research focus is on developing methodologies and tools to monitor and assess actual building energy performance, considering relevant factors such as user behaviour, complex energy systems performance and weather forecast, and to be able to predict accurately building energy loads and consumption along the whole lifecycle. 04/02/2015 €4-7M
Integrated approach to retrofitting of residential buildings (EeB-08-2015) Systemic approaches need to be developed which integrate the most promising cost-effective technologies and materials. The solutions could include, for example, energy use through innovative heat pump systems; combination of renewable energy sources at building level; exploitation of heat recovery for water and air as well as ICT, enabling to adapt the system to the end-user behaviour without losing control of the global efficiency of the system.  04/02/2015 €4-7M

Coordination and Support Actions

These are primarily designed to support accompanying measures such as standardisation, dissemination, awareness-raising and communication, networking, coordination or support services, policy dialogues and mutual learning exercises and studies. Like Innovation actions, they are not about discovering new knowledge but will work alongside both the above types of actions to support and improve uptake etc. The funding rates for all participants (whether industry, SME, university or other public body) is 100% of eligible direct costs, plus 25% of those costs as a flat rate contribution towards overheads.

Call Title Description Deadline Estimated Budget
 Empowering stakeholders to assist public authorities in the definition and implementation of sustainable energy policies and measures (EE-09-2015) Proposals should target specific actors among a wide spectrum of stakeholders (utilities, industry, financing institutions, non-governmental organisations, consumer associations, interest groups, trade unions, etc). They should provide large-scale capacity building or engagement activities to those specific groups playing a key role in the definition and/or implementation of sustainable energy policies and measures initiated by public authorities.  04/06/2015 €1.5-2M
Consumer engagement for sustainable energy (EE-10-2015) Project proposals should focus on changing the behaviour of consumers in their everyday life (e.g. at home, at work, at school), using market segmentation and focussing on ‘action’, the last step of the AIDA (Awareness – Interest – Desire – Action) framework.  04/06/2015 €1-1.5M
Removing market barriers to the uptake of efficient heating and cooling solutions (EE-14-2015) Project proposals should focus on one or more of the following areas: 1) Individual heating and cooling; 2) Inspection of heating and cooling systems; 3) Industrial heating/cooling; 4) Energy supply systems; 5) District heating/cooling industry; 6) Develop and demonstrate the tools and methodologies required to conduct the heating and cooling planning procedures necessary at the member state and EU level.  04/06/2015 €1.5-2M
Organisational innovation to increase energy efficiency in industry (EE-16-2015) Activities should focus on removing market barriers, in particular the lack of expertise and information on energy management. Proposals should primarily address the uptake of cross-cutting innovative technologies, such as energy efficient electric motor driven systems and steam/hot water generation, because these represent 75% of the potential savings in industry.  04/06/2015 €1.5-2M