Nearly €3bn euros for Horizon 2020 Energy projects to date

The Horizon 2020 Energy work programme focuses on energy efficiency, energy systems and storage, smart cities and communities, renewable energy and carbon capture and storage.

Under the 2014-2018 calls, a total of 629 projects have been funded from the Energy work programme (excluding the SME instrument), receiving in total €2,9bn in EU funding.

In terms of budget, most funding was dedicated to Innovation Actions (IA). The total share of innovation-related activities was around two-thirds of the total budget, while 32% of the total budget was for research activities.

Regarding the split in funding, around 41% of the total project budget was dedicated to renewable energy, followed by the energy system (21%), energy efficiency (18%) and Smart Cities and Communities (10%). Within renewable energy, the highest budget share was allocated to the areas of biofuels (including alternative fuels), solar energy, wind energy, ocean energy and geothermal energy.

The average success rate for the Energy Challenge call was 19% (excluding the SME instrument). Regarding ‘high-quality’ proposals, i.e. proposals passing all thresholds, the average success rate was 54% excluding the SME instrument.

Industry participation in the Energy calls has been strong, around 42%, receiving 45% of the total budget.

Looking at Luxembourg participation, Luxembourg received in total €6,84 million from the Energy work programme to date, with altogether 27 funded projects, such as bimeet, the BIM-based EU-wide standardised qualification framework for energy efficiency training project that is coordinated by the LIST.

Climate and Energy in the Horizon Europe programme

Opportunities in the field of energy with Horizon Europe are taking form and new European initiatives are being launched.

Climate and energy remain a priority for the European Commission as demonstrated by the newly published European Green Deal. Already with the Clean Energy for All Europeans legislative package, adopted by the European Commission in December 2016 and finalised last year, ambitions for energy have been revised to meet the challenge of mitigating climate change. As part of the Clean Energy package, member states have been working on their National Climate and Energy Plans (NCEPs), which will be reviewed as part of the Green Deal action plan during Summer 2020.  The NCEP for Luxembourg has been finalised and submitted in December 2019.

In the next Research and Innovation framework programme Horizon Europe, climate and energy topics will be clustered together into a joint “Climate, energy and mobility”- programme in the second pillar of the framework programme on Global challenges and European industrial competitiveness. The proposed overall funding for the Climate, Energy and Mobility cluster is €15bn. Overall, the Horizon Europe programme will have a target of 35% for funding to climate change related projects.

Moreover, Horizon Europe will incorporate research and innovation missions to increase the effectiveness of funding by pursuing clearly defined targets. Out of five missions identified, four are dealing with climate and environment challenges that have a direct impact on people. The missions will focus on adaptation to climate change including societal transformation, climate-neutral and smart cities, healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters, and soil health and food.

Luxembourg has several initiatives ongoing that can be built upon in further projects. Climate pact that already has most of Luxembourg communities on-board, several urban construction projects, the newly submitted National Climate and Energy Plan, Luxembourg activities in circular economy such as the Circular hotspot Wiltz as well as the Cleantech Cluster of Luxinnovation, all are initiatives that can serve as valuable examples and platforms to bring about new ideas and solutions to help combat climate change and bring new growth, jobs and wellbeing to people.


Sanna Alaranta, Advisor European R&D and Innovation Support at Luxinnovation, shares her insights on opportunities offered by Horizon 2020 and future trends in the field of energy expected in Horizon Europe, the next European framework for research and innovation. Sanna Alaranta is Luxembourg’s National Contact Point for Horizon 2020 in Energy, Environment and Climate, including resource efficiency as well as Social Sciences and Humanities. 

Sanna joined Luxinnovation in 2017, bringing with her five-years’ experience at the West Finnish regional office in Brussels working in the fields of clean energy technologies, food and bioeconomy, digital economy and education and her Finnish expertise.

For more information on Horizon 2020, contact Sanna Alaranta, Advisor, European R&D and innovation support


Luxinnovation is the National Contact Point for Horizon 2020, the European framework programme for research and innovation. Building on our decade-long experience of EU funding programmes, we are able to respond to questions on where to get up-to-date information on programmes and calls for project proposals, what programmes are the most suitable for you or where and how to find European partners.

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