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Sustainable Energy Systems

Programme Type
Funding programme
European (European)
European Union
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)


Background & Policy context

Europe’s energy system demonstrates unsustainable patterns of development characterised by growing dependence on imported fossil fuels, rising energy demand and growing CO2 emissions. These unsustainable patterns are exacerbated in key sectors like buildings and transport that are intimately linked with the quality of life of European citizens. The
challenge is to alleviate and reverse these adverse trends to achieve a truly sustainable energy system, while preserving the equilibrium of ecosystems and encouraging economic development.

Strategic Objectives

The strategic and policy objectives of this programme of research into sustainable energy systems include:

  1. reducing greenhouse gases and pollutant emissions;
  2. increasing the security of energy supplies;
  3. improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable energy;
  4. enhancing the competitiveness of European industry; and
  5. improving quality of life both within the EU and globally.
Programme organisation

In addressing the objectives of this research programme, a clear differentiation is made between research activities having the potential for exploitation in the short to medium term and those which are expected to have an impact in the medium to longer term.

The strategically important areas (and sub-areas) in which research should be concentrated are:

Research activities having an impact in the short and medium term

  • Clean energy, in particular renewable energy sources and their integration in the energy system, including storage, distribution and use of such sources. Activities aim at bringing the next generation of more cost-effective renewable energy technologies to the market. The objective is to explore ways to reduce the costs of the energy delivered by specific renewable energy technologies, in the form of green electricity, heating/cooling, and liquid/gaseous biofuels. Research on the large scale integration of renewable energy sources into energy supplies will support the EU in its commitment to reduce energy intensity which requires substantial increases in the adoption of innovative technologies for the management of energy demand.
  • Energy savings and energy efficiency, including those to be achieved through the use of renewable raw materials Research activities will concentrate in particular on Eco-Buildings to generate energy savings and improve environmental quality and quality of life for occupants. ‘Polygeneration’ activities will aim to reduce the demand for primary energy by improving the efficiency of providing electricity, heating and cooling services in parallel.

    Research will focus on

    • improving savings and efficiency mainly in the urban context, in particular in buildings, through the optimisation and validation of new concepts and technologies, including combined heat and power and district heating/cooling systems;
    • opportunities offered by on-site production and use of renewable energy to improve energy efficiency in buildings.
    • Alternative motor fuels Activities under this heading will contribute to the mitigation of both greenhouse gas emissions growth, overdependence on oil and the promotion of biofuels for transport applications. Research will concentrate on biofuels, natural gas and hydrogen.

    Research will focus on

    • the in


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

    The indicative budget allocated to the Sustainable Energy Systems sub-programme is EUR 890 million.

    Participating countries


    European Commission

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