Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Programme Category

Content archived on 2023-03-27

Article available in the following languages:


Specific programme for research and technological development, including demonstration in the field of non-nuclear energy, 1994-1998

For the period 1994-1998, the specific RTD programme in the field of non-nuclear energy merges both R&D and demonstration actions. These are implemented by the JOULE (R&D) and THERMIE (demonstration) strands which were carried out separately under previous Framework Programmes. A new horizontal action, incorporating research, development, demonstration and dissemination activities, has been introduced to support an energy strategy focusing on the energy-environment-economy areas.

This summary concerns the demonstration strand, setting out the different activities to be implemented (see "Subdivisions" section) and the types of support available ("Implementation" section). Building on the 1990-1994 phase of the THERMIE programme, the THERMIE strand of the non-nuclear energy specific programme covers all demonstration activities such as strategy, dissemination, preparatory, accompanying and support measures, concerted actions and technology stimulation measures for SMEs.

By promoting energy technologies, THERMIE plays a vital part in the European Union's strategy for confronting the energy challenges we face today, notably by:

- Ensuring lasting and reliable energy services at affordable costs and conditions;
- Reducing energy consumption;
- Reducing the environmental impact of the production and use of energy, in particular CO2 emissions;
- Strengthening the technological basis of the energy industry.

THERMIE also aims to contribute to the achievement of other important EU objectives, such as reinforcing the competitiveness of EU industry (especially SMEs) with benefits for the economy, employment and export potential, improving economic and social cohesion and contributing to cooperation with third countries (in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Mediterranean region, Latin America, Southeast Asia, Africa and non-EU industrialized nations).
To improve energy efficiency, in both demand and supply sectors; to promote a wider utilization of renewable energy sources; to encourage a cleaner use of coal and other solid fuels; and to optimize the exploitation of the EU's oil and gas resources.
Type A actions: Financial support to projects in the following fields:

- Rational use of energy (RUE):
. Industry (energy intensive industries, less energy intensive industries, and horizontal technologies); reduction of environmental pollution and reduction of materials and environmental pollution abatement);
. RUE in energy industry (combustion processes; transmission, distribution and storage of electricity; district heating and cooling) and fuel cells;
- Renewable energy sources:
. Solar photovoltaics (encouraging the commercialization of PV systems and demonstrating their capacity to supply electricity and reduce CO2 on a significant scale);
. Wind energy (electricity production for all purposes by single units or wind farms);
. Energy from biomass and waste (to realize valuable demonstration projects at commercial scale based on innovative technologies and associated with reduction of harmful emissions and those contributing to the greenhouse effect);
. Small scale hydroelectric plants (to exploit a broader range of sites in order to increase the overall hydroelectric capacity in the EU, reduce the investment and production costs and implement low cost, simple and efficient small-hydro plants particularly suitable for less developed regions);
. Geothermal energy (demonstration projects - involving cooperation between public and private entities - aiming at improving the energy efficiency and cost effectiveness of geothermal plants in a number of configurations);
. Solar thermal electricity (demonstration, at real scale, of an innovative solar thermal electricity plant, preferably using appropriate technical and economic integration of energy sources such as solar gas);

- Fossil fuels:
. Solid fuels (combustion, gasification, and waste);
. Hydrocarbons (safety and environmental protection, exploration, production, transport, and natural gas).

Type B actions: Financial support to other activities in the fields of:

- Energy RTD strategy:
. Global analysis for energy technology demonstration/dissemination sectorial strategies;
. Socio-economic research for energy technology demonstration/dissemination;
. Modelling (application of technological models developed at Community and/or Member State level);
. Energy-environment-economic fora (to facilitate exchanges of experiences and ideas on perspectives on energy technologies);
. Synergies with other energy-related actions (in the fields of energy technology demonstration and dissemination);
. Methods for sectorial promotion of energy technologies demonstration;

- Dissemination of energy technologies:
Activities to ensure that the results of energy technology RTD projects are spread as widely as possible. Areas and tasks:
. Production of information and documentation material, including visual aids, video tapes and related activities;
. Dissemination of information, including participation in or organization of workshops, seminars, conferences, site-visits, technical fairs inside or outside Europe;
. Advice to the market in implementing successful energy technologies;
. Dissemination of information and other measures designed to encourage the development and application of appropriate financial mechanisms which facilitate market penetration of clean and efficient energy technologies;
. Joint activities with financial networks and international institutions;

- Preparatory, accompanying and support measures:
. Sectorial strategies;
. Dissemination activities carried out in EU and non-EU countries;
. Cooperation with international organizations and financial institutions;
. Specific activities associated with SMEs;
. Concerted actions and concertation networks.

- Technology stimulation measures for SMEs.
The Commission (DG XVII) is responsible for implementing the demonstration component of the specific programme on non-nuclear energy, assisted by an advisory committee composed by representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission.

Activities to be implemented under the THERMIE strand are divided into:

- Type A actions: financial support to projects in the fields of rational use of energy, renewable energy sources and fossil fuels;

- Type B actions: financial support for other activities in the fields of energy RTD strategy, dissemination of energy technologies, preparatory, accompanying and support measures and technology stimulation for SMEs.

(Further details of these activities are contained in the "Subdivisions" field of this record.)

For Type A actions, the Commission provides financial support for demonstration projects on a shared-cost basis. The Community's financial contribution does not exceed 40% of the total eligible costs of the projects.

Type B actions, Community support generally covers between 50-100% of the costs of the activity. Depending on the measure involved, these may be carried out either within or outside the European Union.

For both Type A and Type B actions, proposals must come from a consortium of at least two non-affiliated legal entities from different Member States (or alternatively, one Member State and one Associated State) following the publication of a call for proposals.

Details of calls for proposals for R&D projects, together with full text versions of information packages and work programmes, can be obtained on the WWW from the CORDIS Document Library.

Detailed information on the implementation of the specific programme on non-nuclear energy are contained under the summary of the JOULE-THERMIE programme.