Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

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Programme funding

EUR 250 million
The objective is intelligent action to conserve natural resources and sustainably maintain the level of development of our society by making responsible use of energy based on technological innovation and the ability of the energy sector and industry to adopt best practices on energy as quickly as possible.


Community non-technological support activity in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources started in 1991 with the adoption of the SAVE programme, followed in 1993 by the adoption of the ALTENER programme. The success of these two programmes was noted by all the Community institutions and the activities have been continued in the multiannual framework programme on actions in the energy sector (1998-2002) and related measures, which was adopted in 1998 and expires on 31 December 2002.

The proposed action will ensure continuity of Community action in the framework of the existing programmes, notably as regards the promotion of renewable energy sources (ALTENER I and II programme - 1993-1997 and 1998-2002) and of energy efficiency (SAVE I and II programme (1991-1995 and 1996-2002) which formed part of the energy framework programme (1998-2002) along with the ETAP, SYNERGY, CARNOT and SURE programmes. The new Community policy priorities and, in particular, the strategy for sustainable development call for the adoption of a new approach to the Community programmes. The new programme reflects these priorities by reinforcing the ALTENER and SAVE actions and redirecting the SYNERGY actions towards the promotion of these two areas on an international scale. Given its influence in the area of greenhouse gas emissions, the programme also includes the energy aspects of transport.

Participation in this programme shall be open to any legal, public or private person established on the territory of the European Union. This programme shall be open to the participation of the Central and Eastern European candidate countries, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the Europe association agreements, in the additional protocols relating thereto and in the decisions of the respective association councils. It shall also be open to the participation of Cyprus, Malta and Turkey on the basis of the bilateral agreements concluded with these countries. Likewise, the programme shall be open to the participation of the EFTA/EEA countries on the basis of additional funds and in accordance with procedures to be agreed with these countries.


This programme is structured in four specific fields:
_ "SAVE", which concerns the improvement of energy efficiency and demand management, in particular in the building and industry sectors, including the preparation of legislative measures and their application;
_ "ALTENER", which concerns the promotion of new and renewable energy sources for centralised and decentralised production and their integration into the urban environment, including the preparation of legislative measures and their application;
_ "STEER", which concerns support for initiatives relating to the energy aspects of transport, the diversification of fuels and the promotion of renewable fuels and energy efficiency in transport, including the preparation of legislative measures and their application;
_ "COOPENER", which concerns support for initiatives relating to the promotion of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in the developing countries.
_ The development of information, education and training structures; the utilisation of results, the promotion and dissemination of know-how and best practices involving all consumers, and cooperation with the Member States through operational networks at Community and international level;
_ The monitoring of the implementation and the impact of Community policy, and the support measures;
_ The evaluation of the impact of actions and projects funded under the programme.

Under this programme, the financial assistance allocated to the actions and measures of these four specific fields shall be established on the basis of the Community added value of the action proposed and will depend on its benefit and expected impact as well as on the origin of the initiative. The aid may not exceed 50% of the total cost of the measure, the rest being covered either by public or private funds, or a combination of the two. The aid may, however, cover all the cost of some actions, such as studies and other actions to prepare, supplement, implement and evaluate the impact of Community strategy and policy measures and any measures proposed by the Commission to encourage exchanges of experience and know-how to improve the coordination between Community, national, international and other initiatives. All costs relating to actions and measures undertaken solely on the Commission's initiative will be borne by the Community.


The Commission shall be responsible for the execution of this programme and for establishing draft guidelines applicable to the actions and measures to be undertaken for each of the specific areas. The Commission shall be assisted by a Committee made up of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the Commission representative. The Commission shall carry out an annual examination of the progress made on this programme and the actions carried out in the four specific areas. During the third year of the period of application of the programme and in any case before putting forward proposals on any subsequent programme, the Commission shall have independent experts carry out an external evaluation of the overall implementation of the Community actions carried out under this programme. The Commission shall communicate the conclusions of this evaluation to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

Within six months of the adoption of this Decision, the Commission shall establish a work programme, in consultation with the Committee. It shall set out in detail:
_ The guidelines, specific objectives and priorities for each of the specific areas,;
_ The implementation arrangements, distinguishing between actions envisaged on the Commission's initiative and those where the initiative comes from the sector and/or the market concerned;
_ The selection criteria and the arrangements for applying them to each type of action and the method and instruments for monitoring and utilising the results of the actions and/or projects;
_ The indicative timetable for the implementation of the work programme;
_ The detailed rules for coordination and linkage with other Community policies;
_ If necessary, the operational arrangements in order to encourage the participation of remote and outlying regions in the programme, and the participation of SMEs.
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