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Clean Energy Transition


The European Green Deal aims to transform Europe into a fair and prosperous society with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, with no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050. To decarbonise Europe, renewables must become the main energy source, while keeping the stability and resilience of the European energy system. Research and Innovation is needed to be able to achieve the Clean Energy Transition, while realizing also the ambitions of other EU policies like the New Circular Economy Strategy and the new Biodiversity Strategy and delivering on the objectives of the European Green Deal. It will also contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (in particular SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure). At national level, policies and measures in clean energy research and innovation will support the achievement of the energy and climate targets, as outlined in the National Energy and Climate Plans.

The Clean Energy Transition Partnership (CETP) aims to empower the energy transition and contribute from a R&I perspective to the EU’s goal of becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. To achieve this ambitious goal, Europe needs to embark into a transformative process of both the energy system and its supporting technologies, as well as of the society. Key enabling and disruptive technologies, as well system innovation are essential for this transition. With robust investment in innovation and technology development, the energy transition turns into an opportunity for sustainable growth and competitiveness, creating high-quality jobs and leaving nobody behind.

The Clean Energy Transition partnership is expected to contribute to the overarching goal of transitioning to a clean energy system by pooling national and regional resources/funding programmes thus overcoming a fragmented approach. In its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, the Clean Energy Transition Partnership will address the following areas: Development of clean and affordable energy production and conversion technologies; development of a climate neutral, flexible and robust energy system; storage and its integration in the energy system; resource and energy efficiency and circular flows in the energy sector for an ecologically sustainable energy system; a just and inclusive energy transition; sector integration and coupling; and digital transformation.

The partnerships actions are expected to contribute to:

  • a better cost performance by improving efficiency, sustainability, reliability and circularity of a broad portfolio of clean energy technologies and solutions;
  • the integration of a wide range of new energy solutions and ‘first of a kind’ technologies on all levels of the energy system to give flexibility, promote and efficiently manage self-generation and consumption profiles and new holistic solutions for energy storage (surplus energy, peak load supply, inter-seasonal storage);
  • the acceleration of the sustainable energy transition and societal development by the use of opportunities arising from the digital transformation and from data and information from the Copernicus programme, as well as the European Union’s Earth Observation programme.

The partner composition is expected to at least include a geographically representative distribution of national and regional research and innovation authorities and funding agencies from EU Member States, associated countries and their regions. The number of partners and their contribution should be enough to attain a critical mass in the field. The partnership should be open to the addition of new partners during the lifetime of the partnership. The partnership should pool the necessary financial resources from the participating national (or regional) research programmes with a view to implementing joint calls for transnational proposals resulting in grants to third parties and in accordance to the ambition of activities proposed.

The CETP will have to overcome the transnational challenges in the clean energy transition following the ambition of the European Green Deal via a joint, shared, transnational approach, engaging a wide variety of stakeholders including industry and research institutes.

The partnership has to provide a platform that makes research results available for the best use and implementation for all stakeholders and to support capacity building in areas requiring specific resources and expertise. By doing this, public and private investments in clean energy technologies development and deployment can be leveraged and capitalised to ensure adequate exploitation of results across Europe as needed.

Based on priorities identified in the Clean Energy Transition Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, proposals should pool together the necessary financial resources from the participating national (or regional) research programmes with a view to implementing annual joint calls for proposals resulting in grants to third parties with EU co-funding. National efforts should reflect the ambitions outlined in the National Energy and Climate Plans, including on Member States/Associated Countries participation in the SET Plan work streams. Participation of legal entities from international partner countries and/or regions including those not automatically eligible for funding in accordance with General Annex A is encouraged in the joint calls.

The partnership should envisage clustering activities with other relevant selected projects for cross-projects co-operation, consultations and joint activities on cross-cutting issues. To this end, proposals should provide for a dedicated work package and/or task, and earmark the appropriate resources accordingly. The partnership should also present and implement a joint programme of activities focussed on communication (participation in joint meetings and communication events), dissemination and exploitation.

The partnership is expected to collaborate closely with the following European Partnerships:

  • Clean Hydrogen, Built Environment and construction, European industrial battery value Chain and Driving Urban Transition within the Cluster Climate, Energy and mobility;
  • Smart Networks and services, Clean Steel –Low carbon steelmaking, Carbon Neutral and Circular Industry and Geological Services for Europe within the Cluster Digital, Industry and Space;
  • Circular Bio-based Europe within the cluster Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment;
  • And the Climate-KIC and InnoEnergy EITs;

in order to ensure coherence and complementarity of activities. Applicants are expected to describe in their proposal the methodology for their collaboration and the aims they want to achieve with this kind of collaboration.

It is expected that the partnership will organise joint calls on an annual base from 2022 to 2027 and will consider ample time for the implementation of the co-funded projects.

The Commission envisages to include a new action in future work programme(s) to award a grant to identified beneficiaries with the aim of continuing to provide support to the partnership for the duration of Horizon Europe.