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EU Funding for Solutions to Decarbonise Heating and Cooling Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 19, 2017
Horizon 2020A search for ‘solar thermal’ in a recently published 195-page document titled Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy will not return encouraging results (see the attached document). The publication by the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 shows only 6 entries in total. “Solar thermal is definitely not a priority of the new programme,” said Daniel Mugnier, Head of R&D at French engineering services company Tecsol. “And even if the European Solar Thermal Technology & Innovation Platform were to try to promote several hot topics, there’s only one call [LC-SC3-RES-7-2019 on solar process heat] dedicated to the technology.”
 

Still, SHC fits into the wider context of buildings, consumers and district heating networks, as confirmed by Piero de Bonis, SHC Research Policy Officer of Renewable Energy Sources Unit at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research & Innovation. He explained: “We’re asking for solutions to decarbonize the heating and cooling sector, not for specific technology improvements. Applicants will have to propose technologies that they deem most suitable. SHC certainly fits the scope.”
 
The first call relevant to solar thermal, LC-SC3-RES-5-2018, will end on 13 February 2018. Proposals for this call are to meet one or more of the following criteria for renewable heating and cooling systems in residential and commercial buildings: Several optimised components, tools and systems to improve component design and monitoring, and integrated control systems for a smart operation of heating and cooling units. Another call which may be relevant is LC-SC3-RES-28-2018-2019-2020. Proposals are to include plans for developing easy-to-implement solutions for overcoming barriers to broader RES deployment (see the table below). 
 

Call identifier

Call topic

Total budget (in millions of euros)

Expected EU contribution per project (in millions of euros)

Expected no. of supported projects

Type of action

LC-SC3-RES-5-2018

Increased performance of technologies for local heating and cooling solutions

10

3 to 10

1 to 3

Innovation

LC-SC3-RES-28-2018-2019-2020

Market uptake support

15

1 to 3

5 to 15

Coordination and support

Calls ending in February 2018
 
What comes next?
2018 – and then 2019 to 2020 – will see more solar thermal-related calls being published. Despite not including a specific reference to solar thermal, LC-SC3-RES-1-2019-2020 will accept pre-competitive research proposals aimed at developing technologies which are currently in the early research stage and could lead to more efficient and cost-competitive solutions. LC-SC3-RES-4-2018 will address combinations of RES to meet as much as possible of the electricity, heating and cooling needs at multifamily properties and commercial, public or industrial buildings (excludes process heat).
 
A call exclusively dedicated to solar thermal is LC-SC3-RES-7-2019. It will provide support for solar thermal solutions meeting industrial process demand for heat (at a minimum process temperature of 150 °C) and/or cooling. Applications can be submitted for both individual sites and industrial areas (coupled to a district heating and/or cooling network).
 
Solar thermal is also one of the featured technologies in LC-SC3-RES-8-2019. It will concentrate on cost-effective district heating and/or cooling systems that generate at least 50 % of their energy output based on RES and excess heat. Solutions will have to be demonstrated in a real-life environment by being connected to an operational district heating and/or cooling system.
 
Lastly, LC-SC3-EC-1-2018-2019-2020 will focus on motivating consumers to replace old appliances which show great energy-saving potential with more efficient, clean heating and cooling solutions and listing the choices they have. It will support cooperatives, collective purchasing groups, and other consumer groups.
 

Call identifier

Call topic

Overall budget (in millions of euros)

Expected EU contribution per project (in millions of euros)

Indicative no. of supported projects

Type of action

LC-SC3-RES-1-2019-2020

Developing the next generation of renewable energy technologies

20

2 to 5

4 to 10

Research and innovation

LC-SC3-RES-4-2018

Renewable energy system integrated at the building scale

27.5

2 to 5

5 to 13

Research and innovation

LC-SC3-RES-7-2019

Solar energy in industrial processes

10

3 to 5

2 to 3

Research and innovation

LC-SC3-RES-8-2019

Combining renewable technologies for a renewable district heating and/or cooling system

15

8 to 15

1 to 2

Innovation

LC-SC3-EC-1-2018-2019-2020

The role of consumers in changing the market through informed decision and collective actions

5

1 to 2

2 to 5

Coordination and support

More calls relevant to solar thermal
 
CSP focus
Another technology partly related to solar heat is Concentrating Solar Power, also in combination with heat storage, addressed by at least three calls. LC-SC3-RES-11-2018 is looking for proposals to develop and test novel components and configurations for linear-focusing and point-focusing technologies. In addition, LC-SC3-RES-13-2018 aims at establishing demonstration projects to create new heat transfer fluids or make innovative use of ones already available for other CSP applications.
 
The objective of the third call, LC-SC3-RES-17-2019, is the demonstration of innovative storage systems for CSP plants. New thermal units will “have to achieve a much higher storage densities than current mainstream solutions (i.e. at least two times higher)”.

Call identifier

Call topic

Overall budget (in millions of euros)

Expected EU contribution per project (in millions of euros)

Indicative no. of supported projects

Type of action

LC-SC3-RES-11-2018

Developing solutions to reduce the cost and increase performance of renewable technologies

30

2 to 5

6 to 15

Research and innovation

LC-SC3-RES-13-2018

Demonstrate solutions that significantly reduce the cost of renewable power generation

45

15 to 20

2 to 3

Innovation

LC-SC3-RES-17-2019

Demonstration of solutions based on renewable sources that provide flexibility to the energy system

40

12 to 15

2 to 3

Innovation

Funding opportunities for CSP technologies
 
The article was written by Riccardo Battisti, a solar thermal consultant and market researcher working at Ambiente Italia (Rome, Italy).
 
Websites of organisations mentioned in this article:
 

 

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