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Economic and Efficient Energy for a Competitive Europe

Programme Type
Funding programme
European (European)
European Union
STRIA Roadmaps


Background & Policy context

The Key Action 'Economic and efficient energy for a competitive Europe' is part of the EESD ('Energy Environment and Sustainable Development') programme of the Fifth Framework Programme (FP5). While objectives relating to energy, environment and sustainable development are reflected in criteria for selection throughout the Framework Programme, the Specific Programme on Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development (EESD) focuses directly on a number of pressing environmental and energy concerns. In a sustainable development perspective, we must address the quality and sustainability of our use of natural resources and ecosystems, threats of global change, quality of life in our cities, and the impact of the production and use of the energy which is essential to our economies and to our way of life, and also centrally important in environmental problems, notably climate change. Making use of the knowledge and technologies developed by this programme will make it possible to meet a wide range of social and economic needs so reconciling economic development with environmental sustainability. The results will support policies formulated at Community level or deriving from international commitments.

For implementation purposes, the EESD Specific Programme is divided into two sub-programmes, Environment and Sustainable Development, and Energy.

The Energy sub-programme includes two Key Actions:

  • Cleaner energy systems, including renewables
  • Economic and efficient energy for a competitive Europe.

In addition there are Research and Technological Development Activities of a Generic Nature which relate to socio-economic aspects of energy within the perspective of sustainable development (impact on society, the economy and employment).

Strategic Objectives

The Key Action on 'Economic and efficient energy for a competitive Europe' aims to provide Europe with a reliable, efficient, safe and economic energy supply for the benefit of its citizens, the functioning of society and the competitiveness of its industry. Action needs to be taken at every stage of the energy cycle - production, distribution and final use - to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Work focuses by way of priority on:

  • technologies for the rational and efficient end-use of energy,
  • technologies for the transmission and distribution of energy,
  • technologies for the storage of energy on both the macro and the micro scales,
  • improved exploration, extraction and production efficiency for hydrocarbons,
  • improving the efficiency of new and renewable energy sources,
  • the elaboration of scenarios on supply and demand in economy/environment/energy systems and their interactions, and the analysis of the cost-effectiveness (based on whole-life costs) and efficiency of all energy sources.
Programme organisation

In the area 6.1 'Technologies for the rational and efficient end use of energy' of the Key Action there are themes relevant to transport (with projects funded also under the Sustainable Mobility and Intermodality Key Action of the Growth Programme).

  • Transport combustion optimisation with cleaner hydrocarbon and alternative transport fuels. The target is to further improve peak (e.g. 45% Otto, 55% Diesel) and part-load efficiency, specific power (e.g. 3kW/kg Otto, 2kW/kg Diesel), and torque, whilst exceeding 'EURO IV' emissions and particulate targets, and reduced noise, whether using hydrocarbon or alternative fuels. Another target is efficient processes to produce intrinsically cleaner hydrocarbon and alternative fuels, including hydrogen.
  • Hybrid and electric drivelines, and energy storage and conversion devices. For alternative propulsion systems to become competitive, challenging performance, lifetime and cost targets have to be met, established and validated in bench and prototype vehicle demonstrators.  This includes batteries, fuel cells and fuel processors and other energy storage and conversion devices and hybrid systems, aiming at overall 'well to wheel' driveline efficiencies of 35% for the standard European drive cycle.
  • Proving innovative public and private transport means.  The target is the demonstration and comparative assessment of energy efficiency, emissions, feasibility, reliability, safety, operability and economics of alternative propulsion vehicles, (e.g. buses, two and three wheelers, passenger cars, trucks, light personal rapid transit systems) and fixed infrastructure (e.g. fuelling).  In all cases the aim is achievement of substantial energy savings including heat recovery, consistent with improving mobility.  An additional target is to realise rational indicators of cost-effective, energy efficient and cleaner evolution pathways for vehicle propulsion, including development of high accuracy vehicle / emission simulation and procedures for life cycle assessment, bench, field and safety testing. This will demonstrate measures and technologies capable of achieving a long-term aggregate target of 50% reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometre and per payload-kilometre, and >90% reduction in harmful emissions.


Institution Type
Institution Name
European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)
Programme funding arrangements and funding conditions

The budget of the EESD programme is 2,125 million EUR, of which 1,083m EUR is for the Environment and Sustainable Development sub-programme and 1,042m EUR for the Energy sub-programme (not including nuclear energy), for the period 1998-2002.

The Key Action 6 'Economic and efficient energy for a competitive Europe' has a budget of 547 million EUR. EU funding varies across and within type of action and can be up to 100% of eligible costs.

Participating countries
Member and Associated States


European Commission
DG Transport and Energy and DG Research

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