The renewable energy technologies that will form the backbone of the energy system by 2030 and 2050 are still at an early stage of development today. Bringing these new energy conversions, new renewable energy concepts and innovative renewable energy uses faster to commercialisation is challenging. These new technologies must not only have a commercial potential but they should also have a lower environmental impact and lower greenhouse gases emissions than the current renewable energy technologies.
The proposed solution is expected to contribute to implementing the specific priorities for strengthening the EU leadership on renewables laid out in the Communication for Accelerating Clean Energy Innovation.
Due to the pre-competitive nature of the research activities of this type, particular emphasis is put on including international cooperation opportunities whenever relevant to the proposal and the domain, in particular in the context of the Mission Innovation Challenges.
Support will be given to activities which focus on converting renewable energy sources into an energy vector, or the direct application of renewable energy sources.
This topic calls for bottom-up proposals addressing any renewable technology currently in the early phases of research. Activities also might include energy materials, catalysts, enzymes, microorganisms, models, tools and equipment, as long as those are strictly connected to the energy conversion process.
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 offer mutually beneficial effects.
Proposals are expected to bring to TRL 3 or TRL 4 (please see part G of the General Annexes) renewable energy technologies that will answer the challenge described. Beside the development of the technology, the proposal will have to clearly address the following related aspects: lower environmental impact, better resource efficiency than current commercial renewable technologies, issues related to social acceptance or resistance to new energy technologies, related socioeconomic and livelihood issues.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 to 4 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
The concepts proven or validated within the projects are expected to contribute to accelerating and reducing the cost of the next generation of sustainable renewable energy generation. In addition, the project is expected to advance the knowledge and scientific proofs of the technological feasibility of its concept including the environmental, social and economic benefits. The proposal should show its contribution towards establishing a solid European innovation base and building a sustainable renewable energy system.
Illustration Photo: Final assembly of the 10 kW prototype. Scientists involved in the THRIVE project (“thermally driven adsorption heat pumps for substitution of electricity and fossil fuels”) are investigating novel, so-called adsorption heat pumps. As heat is used to power these pumps instead of electricity, the technology could relieve the strain on the power grid on the one hand and harness heat from factories, power stations and computer centers or other renewable sources such as solar power, geothermics and biomass on the other. (credits: Institut für Solartechnik Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil HS / IBM Research / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0))