FP7 Update

FP7 Energy Calls for Proposals and Horizon 2020 progress

The deadlines for the last Energy Calls for Proposals under FP7 have now passed. Negotiation of the wider EU budget and the governance structures that will be used to implement the new EU Horizon 2020 Programme (H2020) are ongoing.

In June 2013 the Council of the EU, European Parliament and the EC reached an agreement on the H2020 programme. Although the deal still has to be formally voted on by the Parliament, it is expected that the new programme should be adopted in late 2013, which means that the first H2020 Calls should be launched in early 2014. The budget allocation for H2020 is understood to be around 70.2B€, and the budget proportions for the different parts of the programme have also been agreed on. This follows a prior agreement on the overall EU budget for 2014 to 2020 (in the region of 960B€), which was a precondition for the final negotiations on H2020 to start.

Energy is likely to receive 7.7% of the available budget for H2020, 5.24B€ for the period 2014-20. This compares to 2.35B€ under FP7. That will only be part of the story, as on top of that there will be cross-cutting spending from other areas of H2020, e.g. Transport, Climate Change, Industrial Leadership, Risk Finance, EURATOM etc, so in total, energy technology development should receive well in excess of 6B€ in support. Within this, the intention driven by the European Parliament is that 85% of the spending will be aimed at support for renewables and energy efficiency development, with the remaining 15% for fossil fuel related technology including CCS. Outside H2020, there will also be Regional Development Funding available for which the UK is now in scope and this will be more closely aligned to supporting H2020 / SET Plan / Energy objectives.

Governance is still an issue that needs to be properly addressed to enable effective Member State oversight. However, the Commission regard the SET Plan Steering Group as having a key consultation role in H2020 Energy priority setting and Work Programme development, which is encouraging. Pending agreement on Governance issues, the Commission have already drafted their own version of the first H2020 Energy Work Programme (now also including Energy Efficiency) and UK representatives will be commenting on this shortly. The European Commission’s hope is that Member State consultation on the Work Programme will happen from September, followed by approval that will allow them to publish the first Calls in late 2013 or early 2014.

Governance is still an issue that needs to be properly addressed to enable effective Member State oversight. However, the Commission regard the SET Plan Steering Group as having a key consultation role in H2020 Energy priority setting and Work Programme development, which is encouraging. Pending agreement on Governance issues, the Commission have already drafted their own version of the first H2020 Energy Work Programme (now also including Energy Efficiency) and UK representatives have commented on this first draft and expect to comment on a second draft in October. The Commission hopes to publish the 2014 Calls for Proposals in mid-December 2013 and the 2015 Calls are likely to be published in June or July 2014.

The EU Energy Focus team is continuing to evolve UK Stakeholder Groups in each SET Plan area to help to inform our position on the Work Programme and you can get involved by joining these.

We will keep you informed of further developments as they occur.