Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

  • European Commission
  • Programmes
  • Specific research, technological development and demonstration programme in the field of non-nuclear energy: "Technologies for cleaner and more efficient energy production and use", 1994-1998

Framework programme


Previous programme


Programme funding

EUR 1 076 million

Official Journal Reference

L 334 of 1994-12-22

Legislative Reference

94/806/CE of 1994-11-23
To encourage research and technological development activities in the field of clean and efficient energy technologies as a contribution to the security of energy supplies and to sustainable development; to speed up the development and dissemination of technologies which are almost mature but whose technical and economic viability still remains largely to be disseminated; to encourage partnerships between universities, industry, users and operators of energy networks; and, to contribute towards economic and social cohesion by developing appropriate energy sources suitable for decentralized use and harnessing local resources.


This specific programme forms part of Activity I under the Fourth Framework programme and makes an important contribution to the Community's overall energy policy.

The main objective of Community energy policy is to assure a sustainable energy supply which meets the socio-economic needs of society and is compatible with the environment. This will be achieved by an RTD strategy which considers the complete cycle, embracing research, development, demonstration and diffusion of knowledge, the introduction of technologies in the market and the behaviour of economic operators. It further integrates the different regional dimensions (local emissions, trans-frontier pollution, and global pollution) and builds on concertation with other Community instruments and policies likely to affect the energy scene, such as transport policy, agricultural policy, the structural funds, international cooperation and fiscal measures.

In the period up to 1998, Energy RTD focuses on four distinct areas:
- Improved conversion and use of energy;
- Introduction of renewable energies into Europe's energy systems;
- Safety of nuclear energy;
- Pursuit of thermonuclear fusion as a long-term option.

The first two areas are addressed by the RTD activities of the present programme. Two specific programmes under the Framework Programme for Euratom deal with the actions relating to nuclear energy. A strategy is to be developed in order to assure the integration and coherence of the various elements of energy RTD.

The aim of Community activities under the specific programme is to develop and demonstrate effective, cleaner and more reliable non-nuclear energy technologies which guarantee compatibility between energy usage, the equilibrium of the biosphere and economic development.

The programme builds on the achievements of both phases of the JOULE programme under the Second and Third Framework Programmes and of other related Community activities. Full use is made of the OPET network (Offices for the Promotion of Energy Technologies) established under the THERMIE programme, in order to reinforce the wide-spread dissemination of information on the technologies emerging from the RTD and to speed up the deployment of new innovations on the market.

The programme adopts a global approach aimed at facilitating the evolution of the energy sector in the medium and long term To facilitate this approach, RTD activities are divided into two distinct phases: a research and development phase and a demonstration phase. Both phases are to be implemented in close cooperation with one another; an activity to support this strategy will be developed to complete the two phases.

The R&D phase concentrates on the development of technologies designed to reduce emissions from CO2 and other pollutants, in recognition of the likely long-term predominance of fossil fuels in the world energy system. Alongside this, research efforts emphasize the development of renewable energy resources, with a view to promoting their wide-spread introduction into the European energy system.

The Demonstration phase is located downstream from the R&D activities and, because of its proximity to the market, the actions are more diversified. aim at supporting more directly the different aspects of the energy policy (particularly those of security of supply). They are to be formulated so that the whole RTD effort contributes substantially to the reinforcement of the competitiveness of European industry (especially SMEs) and to economic and social cohesion. This is to be achieved through the development of regional and local resources. In order to ensure the effectiveness of demonstration actions, great attention full account must be taken of the possibilities for subsequent market take-up of the technologies concerned.

Projects must be designed in a manner which will facilitate the harmonization of results throughout the Community and enable international comparisons. Furthermore, attention must be paid to ensure the extension of their applicability (given the appropriate adaptations) to less developed countries, the CIS and Eastern Europe.

Cooperation activities in many fields of energy technologies are to be established whenever appropriate both at international level (e.g. International Energy Agency and United Nations) and at national and regional level (e.g. East and Central Europe, the CIS, the Mediterranean and developing countries).

The programme includes stimulation activities, based on activities carried out under CRAFT, and feasibility awards, in order to promote and facilitate the participation of SMEs.

Opportunities for training and promoting the mobility of researchers will be created during the course of the programme through financial grants and research secondment schemes at major RTD projects.


Five areas:

Area 1: Research, development, demonstration and dissemination strategies:

1.1 General analysis of RTD policy options
1.2 Socio-economic research
1.3 Energy models
1.4 "Energy-Environment-Economy" Forum
1.5 Synergies between programmes
1.6 Promotion of energy technologies

Area 2: Rational use of energy:

2.1 Rational use of energy in buildings
2.2 Rational use of energy in industry
2.3 Energy industry and fuel cells
2.4 Rational use of energy in transport

Area 3: Renewable energies

3.1 Integration of renewable energies
3.2 Photovoltaic
3.3 Renewable energies in buildings
3.4 Wind energy
3.5 Energy from biomass and waste
3.6 Hydroelectric power
3.7 Geothermal energy
3.8 Energy storage and other alternatives

Area 4: Fossil fuels

4.1 Clean technologies for solid fuels
4.2 Generic combustion
4.3 New fuels in transport
4.4 Hydrocarbons

Area 5: Dissemination of energy technologies including:

- Activities linked to market simulation,
- Advice on the practical application of technologies,
- Advice and support for the appropriate application of financing instruments,etc.


The Commission is responsible for the overall implementation of the programme. It is assisted by two Advisory Committees, one for the R&D part of the programme and one for the Demonstration part. Both Committees consist of representatives of the Member States and are chaired by a representative of the Commission.

The Commission is responsible for drawing up a work programme for each of the two parts of the programme, detailing the scientific and technological objectives to be achieved, the various implementation stages and the corresponding financial arrangements. The work programme may also include specific arrangements to improve interaction with the preparatory phases of certain EUREKA projects. Calls for proposals for projects are issued by the Commission on the basis of the work programme.

The financial participation of the Community mainly covers shared-cost activities, concerted actions (which may also include the coordination of thematic networks bringing together manufacturers, users, universities and research centres to work on the same shared-cost RTD project), specific measures (such as actions to promote standardization) and various preparatory, accompanying, and support measures. In principle, shared-cost activities will qualify for a contribution of not more than 50%, with a 40% ceiling for demonstration projects. Concerted actions may qualify for a contribution of up to 100%, as may the various accompanying measures.

When appropriate, shared-cost projects will be grouped into clusters so that better synergy of resources and results can be achieved. Special consideration will also be given to integrated projects which use a multidisciplinary approach to tackle social, economic or purely technical problems and/or address issues taking into consideration the path from research to demonstration and on to market development. Such projects could cover integrated applications of renewable energies, combustion and urban transport.

The Joint Research Centre may participate in the indirect activities covered by this programme and will contribute, through its own programme of direct activities, in the attainment of the RTD objectives of the programme. JRC research will focus in particular on photovoltaic energy and materials for clean technologies.

The Commission is authorized to negotiate cooperation agreements with third countries not covered by the EEA and with international organizations located in Europe, with a view to involving them in all or part of the programme. Particular attention will be paid to extending aspects of the programme, especially the results of analyses and demonstration projects, to east and central European countries and to the CIS.

Progress in implementing the programme will be continuously monitored by the Commission who will, where appropriate, submit proposals to adapt or supplement the programme's priorities and objectives. In due course, an assessment of the fields of activity directly covered by the programme will be conducted by an independent group of experts who, upon the completion of the programme, will conduct a final evaluation of the results achieved compared to the programme's initial objectives. The report of this final evaluation will be communicated to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee.

Separate records providing more details on both the R&D (programme acronym = NNE-JOULE C) and demonstration (programme acronym = NNE-THERMIE C) strands are contained on this data base.


The budget allocated to this specific programme was increased from ECU 1,002 to ECU 1,067 million by Council Decision 616/96/EC (new Member States). It was further increased to ECU 1,076 million by Decision 2535/97/EC on 1/12/1997.
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