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Research and innovation

Energy research and innovation strategy

Clean energy strategy

In 2016 the Commission presented a comprehensive research, innovation and competitiveness strategy, which supports the objectives of the energy union.

This strategy is outlined in the Accelerating Clean Energy Innovation Communication adopted as part of the Clean energy for all Europeans package, where research and innovation is recognised as a driver for the three overarching goals

  • energy efficiency first
  • Europe as a global leader in renewables
  • a fair deal for consumers

The Communication includes 20 measures focusing on what the EU can do to correct the market failure by regulations to give policy signals and mobilise private investment. It also shows how the EU can set the direction with European public funding.

The research and innovation actions of this strategy are supported by two specific initiatives


European Green Deal and Horizon Europe

Clean energy will be critical to reach climate objectives as part of the European Green Deal.

The full range of instruments available under the EU's next research and innovation programme - Horizon Europe - will also support the research and innovation efforts needed to achieve climate neutrality.

Energy innovation will play a key role in delivering on the Horizon Europe Mission area climate-neutral and smart cities.



REPowerEU is our plan for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy. Research and innovation activities are contributing to accelerating the clean energy transition for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy by 2030, in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal.

Currently, only half of the technologies necessary to achieve full decarbonisation are ready for the market. Research and innovation activities will support new and existing technology solutions to become market-ready, in particular for green hydrogen and solar energy.

The Commission will top-up Horizon Europe investments in the Hydrogen Joint Undertaking to double the number of Hydrogen Valleys by 2025 and will support skills through ERASMUS+ and the Joint Undertaking on Clean Hydrogen, with the launch of a large project to develop skills for the hydrogen economy.

The Commission will also develop and implement strategic research and innovation agendas with EU countries on Green Hydrogen and Solar energy technology and secure funding in Horizon Europe among others.

Bioenergy can contribute significantly to the REPowerEU goals by ensuring security of energy supply and reducing dependency on fossil fuels imports. For example, biomethane is named a priority for the diversification of EU gas supplies by increasing domestic biomethane production to 35 billion cubic meters per year by 2030.

The EU Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities will play a crucial role in realising energy savings in buildings.


EU-Catalyst Partnership

The EU-Catalyst Partnership brings together the Commission, the European Investment Bank and Breakthrough Energy Catalyst. It was launched in November 2021 at COP26 in Glasgow by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Bill Gates, the Founder of Breakthrough Energy, together with European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer.

EU funding for the EU-Catalyst Partnership comes from Horizon Europe and the Innovation Fund managed under InvestEU. The partnership will mobilise up to €820 million ($1 billion) between 2022-2027 to accelerate the deployment and rapidly commercialise innovative low-carbon technologies that will help deliver on the European Green Deal ambitions and the EU's 2030 climate targets. Each euro of public funds is expected to leverage 3 euro of private funds.

The European Investment Bank, as implementing partner of the European Commission under InvestEU, has been tasked to deploy for the benefit of this partnership up to €420 million from EU funding, made available from both Horizon Europe, which has already committed €200 million, and the Innovation Fund which has committed €220 million.

Project areas and funded projects

Investments will be directed towards a portfolio of EU-based projects with high potential, in 5 sectors:

  • clean hydrogen
  • sustainable aviation fuels
  • direct air capture
  • long-duration energy storage
  • decarbonisation of industry (steel and cement)

The initiative of the EU-Catalyst Partnership complements the multiple actions already launched in the framework of the European Green Deal and National Recovery and Resilience Plans financed by NextGenerationEU as well as the Net Zero Industry Act and REPowerEU.

European projects interested in benefiting from support can apply through the Breakthrough Energy Catalyst website.

The first 2 projects to be financed by EU-Catalyst Partnership are:

FlagshipONE project - Ørsted

Located in Sweden and managed by Danish energy company Ørsted, the FlagshipONE project is a first-of-a-kind e-methanol production aiming to provide renewable fuel for the shipping industry. The plant will use captured CO2 and renewable hydrogen to produce ~55,000 tons of e-methanol annually, making it Europe’s largest integrated e-methanol production facility.

Ottana CO2 Battery Project – Energy Dome

Headquartered in Milan, Energy Dome has developed a long-duration energy storage technology based on liquified CO2 The CO2 battery can provide storage for up to 10 hoursor longer, more competitively than lithium-ion batteries. With the support of the EU-Catalyst partnership, this project will build its first-of-a-kind, full-scale demonstration CO2 battery energy storage facility in Sardinia

More information on sectors related to the partnership