This report provides an overview of relevant EU funding sources for projects aimed at improving energy efficiency and deploying renewable energy in the heating and cooling sector, and to support innovation and job creation at regional level in the same sector. This study covers European funding sources for the current programming period (2014-2020).
EU funding for heating and cooling projects is channelled both through the five European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and through dedicated EU grants and financial instruments. The bulk of ESIF funding under the Cohesion Policy is concentrated on less developed European countries and regions, whereas the other EU funding sources are typically open to applicants in all Member States.
Some of the EU funding sources in this report are well-known and established, others are less popular. Typically, the more popular programmes also have lower winning chances. It may therefore pay off to look at alternatives. Moreover, preparing an EU funding project can be complex and time consuming. A review of several surveys on the subject revealed that experience of drafting project applications is one of the major differences between successful and unsuccessful applicants. For highly innovative projects, it is often needed to maximise the utilisation of public funds in order to close the business case. The many EU funding sources cover different project activities, different phases in the technology development (TRL levels) and increasingly also the different types of finance (e.g. equity, debt) that are required to fund a project. This offers opportunities to combine EU funding.
What are the options and limitations of this process, are to be discovered in the “Identification of EU funding sources for the regional heating and cooling sector” study, elaborated for the JRC under the Smart Specialization Platform for Energy (S3PE) activities.