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The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy also promotes applied energy research at European level.

Energy research funding in the European Union

European consortia bring together researchers from different Member States to advance energy research. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWi) funds applied energy research projects not only at national level, but also at European and international level.

The Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) is the basis for the transition to a climate-neutral energy system at European level. It forms the strategic superstructure for energy research in the European Union (EU). In order to achieve the climate goals, the SET-Plan focuses primarily on applied energy research. The plan concentrates on the short-term, competitive development of carbon-free technologies to shape Europe's future energy provision.

ERA-NET Cofunds invite tenders for transnational research projects

In an ERA-NET Cofund under Horizon 2020, the interested EU Member States and associated countries join forces with the EU to form a consortium on a specific topic. The aim is the strategic coordination of EU and national programmes. Accordingly, transnational research and innovation projects are tendered jointly. The new EU framework programme Horizon Europe from 2021 onwards is expected to further expand the research cooperation established in the ERA-Nets at European level through so-called "Co-funded Partnerships".

The countries participating in the ERA-Nets coordinate the funding topics for the respective ERA-NET Cofunds in the energy sector together with the EU. The funding topics are published in joint calls. Research consortia can then submit applications for the corresponding calls. An ERA-NET Cofund issues one or more calls for funding, with the European Commission co-funding the first call with around 33 per cent. In addition, the projects are financed and administered nationally. A similar approach is currently planned for the co-funded partnerships.

European support in the field of power-generating technologies

Germany participates in the following three ERA-NETs in the field of power generation technologies:

  • SOLAR-ERA.NET Cofund

Detailed information on energy research funding in the EU is available on the website