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Energy and resource flexibility in highly energy intensive industries (IA 50%)


Solutions are needed for value chain optimisation through energy efficiency considerations in the design phase of manufacturing equipment and processes, collective demand side strategies, and potential integration of the nearby renewable energy sources.

In particular, proposals are expected to develop:

  • Innovative production technologies allowing flexibility in terms of raw material, including new, modified or secondary raw materials, and intermediate or final products are expected to be developed. They have, at the same time, to consider quality of the main products and by-products in view of their valorisation through re-use and recycle;
  • Novel advanced energy systems, could include new combustion and gasification techniques applied to the highly resource and energy intensive industries have to be developed;
  • New developments should clearly indicate how the use of sustainable electrical energy sources, or heat recovery, could enhance energy efficiency and cope with a fluctuating energy input. These actions have to bring a significant impact on the sustainability profile of the process and/or the final products.

Proposals need to consider the following elements:

  • Treatment technologies and process integration solutions allowing a significant reduction as well as the valorisation, re-use and recycling of by-products and waste streams (solid, liquids and gaseous);
  • System, process modelling and integration (up and down-stream) within the plant operation terms or symbiosis concepts, improving energy and raw materials efficiency and flexibility, and minimising the impact on the environment of the whole value chain. Taking also into consideration optimisation at a plant/system level. The activities have to be supported by a quantitative Life Cycle Assessment.

Proposals should include multiple demonstrators, including retrofitting of industrial installations, in a highly energy and resource intensive industry-relevant environment. The whole value chain should be considered, as well as relevant regulations which support the recycling of waste materials in Europe. Exploitation of structural and regional funds in connection with smart specialisation strategies is strongly encouraged.

Activities should start at TRL 5 and achieve TRL 7 at the end of the project.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 8 and 12 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

As an exception from General Annex D, the funding rate for eligible costs in grants awarded under this topic will be differentiated: 100% of the eligible costs for beneficiaries and linked third parties that are non-profit legal entities; and 50% of the eligible costs for beneficiaries and linked third parties that are for profit legal entities.

Energy intensive industries should adapt their production processes and unit operations to increasingly sustainable, but highly fluctuating energy supply. To this end, energy and resource flexibility in the European process industry can be improved through the development of novel processes utilising more efficiently energy streams, heat recovery and raw materials flows with variable properties (including new or modified materials as well as secondary raw materials and by-products).

The challenge is to establish synergistic integration at a regional level among different production sectors leading to optimisation of production system as a whole and logistics, especially in terms of the supply of energy and raw materials. This should reduce emissions and environmental impact, while maintaining competitiveness and job security.

  • Cost reduction of the process of at least 10% through the implementation of a flexible scheme in raw materials, including secondary raw materials, process and product quality specifications;
  • Improved process efficiency through re-utilisation of energy and/or material process streams by at least 15%;
  • CO2 emissions reduction by at least 5% and reduction of the environmental impact in terms of the main key performance indicators by at least 15%;
  • Effective dissemination of major innovation outcomes to the current and next generation of employees, through the development, by education/training experts, of learning resources with flexible usability. These should be ready to be easily integrated in existing curricula and modules for undergraduate level and lifelong learning programmes.

Relevant indicators and metrics, with baseline values, should be clearly stated in the proposal.