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Previous funding

Previous funding that helped support energy sustainability, energy efficiency and technology development.

Intelligent Energy Europe

In 2003, the European Commission launched the programme Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) to offer a helping hand to organisations willing to improve energy sustainability in areas like

  • renewable energy
  • energy-efficient buildings
  • industry
  • consumer products
  • transport

The programme was part of a broad push to create an energy-intelligent future and it supported EU energy efficiency and renewable energy policies. The IEE was also meant to help boost competitiveness, security of energy supply and innovation in Europe. The continuation of IEE funding activities was ensured under Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 3- Energy Efficiency and will continue from 2021 onwards in LIFE - Clean Energy Transition.

Running from 2003 until 2013, the programme was open to all EU countries, as well as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Croatia (at the time not part of EU) and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (since 2019, North Macedonia). A budget of nearly €1 billion was available to fund projects and put in place a range of European portals, facilities and initiatives.

IEE portals

A series of web portals were created to provide valuable information to everyone working on energy efficiency and renewable energy at both local and regional level, and in relation to buildings and mobility. Examples of such portals are BUILD UP, Eltis, ManagEnergy, BUILD UP Skills and Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy.

The IEE project database

A large part of the programme budget was made available through annual calls for proposals to support projects that put the concept of intelligent energy in practice. Carried out by public, private or non-governmental European organisations, they supported 3 main objectives

  • more energy efficiency
  • more renewables
  • better transport and mobility

The database contained around 800 projects that were carried out between 2005 and 2016. It has been archived by the European Commission Publications Office, but the project descriptions can still be consulted.

European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020

During the EU budget period 2014-2020 the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) represented the most important energy efficiency funding at EU level. ESIF allocated €18 billion to energy efficiency projects, which meant a tripling of allocations, compared to the previous budget period (2007-2013). These funds aimed at leveraging a much larger amount of national public and private co-financing, reaching an estimated total of around €27 billion

Horizon 2020- Societal Challenge 3

Funding support to energy efficiency technology development, research and innovation, and to capacity building and market uptake of solutions for energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy investments was provided under the Horizon 2020 programme via energy efficiency calls (buildings and industry areas) of the Societal Challenge 3 (SC3). Out of the total SC3 budget of 5,4bn€ around 30% was allocated to energy efficiency projects.