The proposal will develop solutions which can be easily implemented for overcoming barriers to the broad deployment of renewable energy solutions. In particular, the proposal will address one or more of the following issues:
- Recommendation for harmonisation of regulations, life cycle assessment approaches, environmental impact methodologies of renewable energy solutions;
- Development of additional features for RES to be compliant with the electricity market requirements, making them ""market fit"", such as developing the possibility to provide additional services to the grid such as peak power and having an active role in electricity balancing/reserve market;
- Support sharing of best practice between public funding bodies for the cross-border participation in RES electricity support schemes, increasing the use of the ""RES co-operation mechanisms"" foreseen in the legislation;
- Development of insurance schemes to be available to developers in Europe and worldwide to mitigate risks, such as in geothermal drilling and offshore installation;
- Development of innovative financing mechanisms, schemes and sharing of best practices for cost-effective support for uptake of renewable sources, such as through the use of Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions instrument or smartly designed tenders;
- Development of support tools to facilitate export markets, especially for technologies where export market potential is much higher than internal market e.g. for hydropower. The focus will be on capacity building for market activities in developing and emerging countries, including identifying research needs, within the objectives of developing country- specific technologies and solutions, and/or adapting existing ones, taking into account local aspects of social, economic and environmental sustainability. Participation of developing and emerging countries is encouraged, in particular if these countries have identified energy as a priority area for their development and whenever common interest and mutual benefits are clearly identified.
- Development of tools (methods and models) for environmental impact assessments of renewable energy projects;
- Development of tools or services using global earth observation data, (such as those available through COPERNICUS), to support development and deployment of renewable energy sources;
- Determining conditions and defining options for retrofitting existing energy and industrial installations (first generation biofuels, pulp and paper, fossil refineries, fossil firing power and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants) for the complete or partial integration of bioenergy, with concrete proposals for such retrofitting for the different cases of bioethanol, biodiesel, bio-kerosene, intermediate bioenergy carriers and other advanced biofuels and renewable fuels and biomass based heat and power generation, on the basis of the assessment of the capital expenditure (CAPEX) reduction and market benefit;
- Development of optimisation strategies regarding cost, energy-performance and LCA for bioenergy and sustainable renewable fuels in upgraded energy and industrial installations;
- Development of cost-effective logistics, feedstock mobilisation strategies and trade-centres for intermediate bioenergy carriers.
For all actions, the consortia have to involve and/or engage relevant stakeholders and market actors who are committed to adopting/implementing the results. The complexity of these challenges and of the related market uptake barriers calls for multi-disciplinary research designs, which should include contributions also from the social sciences and humanities. Where relevant, regional specificities, socio-economic, spatial and environmental aspects from a life-cycle perspective will be considered. Where relevant, proposals are expected to also critically evaluate the legal, institutional and political frameworks at local, national and European level and how, why and under what conditions these (could) act as a barrier or an enabling element.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 to 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Since the adoption of RES Directive in 2009, most Member States have experienced significant growth in renewable energy production and consumption, and both the EU and a large majority of Member States are on track towards the 2020 RES targets. The ""Clean Energy for all Europeans"" package adopted at the end of 2016 introduces further targets towards 2030 and introduces modifications in the energy market design that will empower individuals or communities to participate actively to the energy system transformation. Renewable energy technologies have the opportunity to play a crucial role in this transition, leading to an increased share of renewable energy consumed in the EU and to a more active role for the consumers. However, introducing and deploying at large scale new and improved technologies entails a number of challenges, notably as regards their initial high cost, the consumer acceptance and the legal and financial barriers arising from bringing novel solutions to a technical environment with already reliable solutions in place.
It is expected that the solution proposed will contribute to:
- Facilitate the introduction of these technologies and increase the share of renewable energy in the final energy consumption;
- Lead to substantial and measurable reductions for project developments, whilst still fully addressing the needs for environmental impact assessments and public engagement;
- Develop more informed policy, market support and financial frameworks, notably at national, regional and local level, leading to more cost effective support schemes and lower financing costs for RES facilities.