Proposals should pool the necessary financial resources from the participating national (or regional) research programmes with a view to implementing a joint call for proposals resulting in grants to third parties with EU co-funding in this area.
Proposers are encouraged to include other joint activities including additional joint calls without EU co-funding.
The scope of activities should range from “technical energy grids” to “business and citizen networks for energy” relying on tools that have been developed in practical exercises throughout Europe in regions, municipalities, small utilities and innovative SMEs. This implies to bridge various energy domains (e. g. power, heat) to make best use of local and regional potentials.
The proposed actions should close the gap between technical availability and deployment. A key challenge for the proposed actions will be to integrate the market uptake mechanism that have been studied for every single energy carrier and generation technology and deploy them exploiting regional characteristics, networking structures and drivers. Proposals should build include the set-up of a knowledge platforms (such as developed for example by ERA-Net Smart Grid Plus) and promote transnational mutual learning. Proposals should deal with innovative technologies such as IT platforms, storage that links multiple energy carriers, etc. and latest trends such as sharing economy, to develop innovative services, governance models and business structures that allow for involving consumers and citizens as true market partners.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution in the range of EUR 7.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
The future energy system will be more distributed, heavily relying on renewable energy sources and a new market design. While common technological and market solutions to link energy systems across Europe are the subject of topics LCE 1-5 of this Work Programme, the implementation of new technological options and business processes is needed to optimise systems on a local (e.g. municipalities) and regional level (in the sense of regions within a country) and to link them to a secure and resilient European energy system.
Local and regional utilities, SMEs and start-up companies could play a major role to provide the technological, economic, legal and organisational knowledge and build co-creation ecosystems with private and communal initiatives to develop and implement respective solutions. The acceptance of these new energy solutions could allow for consumers and citizens to participate in sharing models and smart business processes and be actors in the local energy system.
- Acceleration of the development of appropriate and sound technical and business process solutions for energy systems on a local and regional level, by utilizing national and regional Research and Innovation / Development funds to initiate and support cooperation between pioneer regions across Europe (including their utilities), technology providers and experts,
- Demonstration and validation of successful approaches of regional development (including respective additional funding mechanisms) linked with common and new business models in the energy domain to accelerate deployment of latest resource-efficient and decarbonising technology,
- New business scenarios that promote public private partnerships and allow small companies and crafts to benefit from technological progress in the energy domain thereby creating growth and jobs in all European regions,
- Proven guidance and tools for regional policy makers and municipal utilities that aim for a new energy model while not jeopardizing secure and cost effective supply.
- Engagement of local/regional stakeholders and companies in the energy system and emergence of new business opportunities