Social challenges

Grants for Collaborative Projects, including Research, innovation close to market, Coordination and Support Actions, and other new schemes (i.e. prizes, innovative public procurement, etc…) oriented to Political Priorities and Challenges of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

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Energy efficiency is a no-regret option for Europe, addressed by both short-term and long-term EU policies. The key objectives of EU action in the field of energy efficiency are:
(1) to hold 2020 energy consumption down to no more than 1474 Mtoe of primary energy consumption and 1078 Mtoe of final energy consumption; and
(2) to hold 2030 energy consumption down to an appropriate level (which may be set as a function of the EU's economic performance).
In 2009, it was forecast that the policies and measures in force at European and national level would still leave EU primary energy consumption at about 1680 Mtoe in 2020. Since then, Member States have committed to energy efficiency as a key element in their energy policies and energy efficiency measures have started to function on a significant scale. It is now projected that primary energy consumption will progressively decrease towards 2020 and 2030. This is encouraging progress but it should be noted that the poor performance of Europe's economy has also made a significant contribution, and that these projections still leave a gap in relation to the EU target for 2020. Moreover, it is clear that more ambitious action in energy efficiency will be needed to achieve EU objectives for 2030.
In the field of EU support for innovation, a package of activities is therefore needed to support
1) research and demonstration of more energy-efficient technologies and solutions; and
2) actions to remove market and governance barriers (financing and regulatory frameworks, improving skills and knowledge).
Research and demonstration activities will focus on buildings (also implemented through the Public Private Partnership on Energy-efficient Buildings, PPP EeB), industry (also implemented through SPIRE), heating and cooling, SMEs and energy-related products and services.
Market uptake measures, which should continue the type of activities supported under the Intelligent Energy Europe programme, including the ELENA Facility, should address market failures and governance gaps preventing progression in energy efficiency across all sectors.
Where applicable, projects should also include a broader resource efficiency dimension, and pay due regard to gender issues.
The ethical dimension of the activities undertaken should be analysed and taken into account, including relevant socio-economic implications. This implies the respect of ethical principles and legislation during implementation, notably of Opinion No. 27 of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) titled 'An ethical framework for assessing research, production and use of energy'.
Whenever possible, the activities should also demonstrate a good understanding and handling of ethical aspects as well as promoting the highest ethical standards in the field and among the actors and stakeholders. The most common issues to be considered include personal data protection and privacy, protection of participants and researchers and ensuring informed consent, involvement of vulnerable population, the potential misuse of the research results, fair benefit sharing when developing countries are involved and the protection of the environment. In the light of social, environmental and economic concerns, the consideration of these ethical aspects contribute to the achievement of an equilibrium between four criteria - access rights, security of supply, safety, and sustainability.