Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 350 million

Official Journal Reference

L 185 of 1990-07-17

Legislative Reference

2008/90/(CEE) of 1990-06-29
To share a proportion of the financial risks involved in promoting and disseminating innovative energy technologies and to help bridge the gap between the research and development stages and the market implementation of these technologies with a view to improving energy efficiency and diversifying the Community's energy supply.


The THERMIE programme ensures the continuity of measures undertaken within the framework of the Community's Energy Demonstration (ENDEMO C) and Hydrocarbon Technology (HYDROCARB C) Programmes, which expired at the end of 1989.

Under the conditions laid down in the Regulation the Community grants financial support for innovatory and dissemination projects designed to advance, implement and/or promote innovative technologies in the field of energy, implementation of which entails a large element of technical and economic risk, such that those projects would in all likelihood not be executed without Community financial support.

"Innovatory projects" means projects designed to advance or implement innovatory techniques, processes or products for which the research and development stage has for the most part been completed, or new applications of established techniques, processes or products. This type of project is designed to prove the technological and economic viability of new technologies by applying them on a sufficiently large scale for the first time.

"Dissemination projects" means projects designed to promote with a view to their broader utilization within the Community, either under different economic or geographical conditions or with technical modifications, innovatory techniques, processes or products which have already been applied once but, owing to residual risk, have not yet penetrated the market.

Where a need is not being met or where significant technological advance could be achieved through cooperation between persons or undertakings in at least two Member States, the initiative may be taken to encourage or coordinate the setting-up of specific projects, called 'targeted projects' .

Provision is also made in the Regulation for associated measures to be undertaken by the Commission to encourage the application and market penetration of energy technologies. These measures include analysis of the features of the market and evaluation of its potential, monitoring and evaluation of projects financed by the Community, dissemination of information on the promotion of energy technologies and the results of projects, and technical and financial support for bodies that promote innovative technologies in the Member States.

The above projects and measures will be coordinated with actions being undertaken by other Community programmes aimed in particular at R&D in the field of non-nuclear energy (JOULE), the valorization of indigenous energy potential (VALOREN), innovation and technology transfer (SPRINT), and the dissemination and utilization of the results of scientific and technical research (VALUE).


Four fields of application:

- Rational use of energy:
Activities which lead to substantial energy savings or to a restructuring of energy demand in such a way as to improve the quality of the environment or make more efficient use of electricity and heat (Sectors: Buildings - Industry - Energy industry, electricity and heat - Transport and urban infrastructure);

- Renewable energy sources:
Sources of energy which will not run out (Sectors: Solar energy - Energy from biomass and waste - Geothermal energy - Hydroelectric energy - Wind energy);

- Solid fuels:
The clean use of solid fuels, the upgrading of waste arising as a result of their use, and the conversion of solid fuels into gaseous or liquid products (Sectors: Combustion - Conversion - Waste - Gasification integrated with a combined gas/steam cycle);

- Hydrocarbons:
Prospecting for, producing, transporting or storing hydrocarbons (Sectors: Exploration - Production - Transport - Storage).


The Commission decides whether to grant financial support for projects after consulting an advisory committee composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by a Commission representative.

Projects may be submitted by natural or legal persons established within the Community, whether individually or in the form of associations, following publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities of an invitation to submit projects in one or more of the fields of application covered by the programme.

Subject to specific conditions preference is given to projects proposed by small and medium-sized undertakings or by an association of such undertakings and to dissemination projects which are to be implemented in less-developed regions.

The amount of financial support is determined separately for each project. Support may be granted for an entire project or for different stages of a project. It may not exceed 40% of the eligible cost of the project in the case of innovatory and targeted projects, or 30% in the case of dissemination projects.

The public authorities in the Member States shall not, in principle, grant additional support that would have the effect of subsidizing the project beyond the level of 49% of its total cost. All public support must be notified to the Commission.

The Commission retains the possibility of introducing, after consultation with the Advisory Committee, other financial mechanisms, such as interest rebates, guarantee funds or participation in capital funding.

The amount of Community expenditure deemed necessary to implement the programme for the period 1990 to 1992 is ECU 350 million. An equivalent amount is expected to be made available for the period 1993 to 1994.

In cooperation with the bodies responsible in the Member States, the Commission shall endeavour to ensure the dissemination and implementation of projects supported in accordance with this Regulation and Regulations (EEC) No 3056/73, No 1302/78, No 1303/78, No 1971/83, No 1972/83, No 3639/85 and No 3640/85 and to promote their exploitation.

Three years after the entry into force of this Regulation and also upon its expiration, the Commission will submit a report on its implementation and on the compatibility between national and Community action to the European Parliament and the Council for the purpose of assessing the results obtained.

Regulations (EEC) No 3639/85 (HYDROCARB C) and No 3640/85 (ENDEMO C) shall continue to apply to projects to which support has been granted pursuant to those Regulations.
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