Climate Action: Energy for a Changing World
On 23 January 2008, the European Commission unveiled an ambitious package of proposals to to fight climate change and promote renewable energy in line with EU commitments. The Climate Action package builds on the many targets the EU set itself in 2007 for 2020 as part of the Energy Policy for the European Union including 20% reduction in greenhouse gases; 20% increase in energy efficiency, and increasing renewable energy use to 20% of total energy consumption.
As a major step toward meeting the unprecedented energy challenges facing the EU, the European Commission presented its Energy Efficiency Action Plan on 19 October 2006, which was incorporated within the Energy Policy for Europe.
Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme 2007-2013
On 1 June 2006, the European Parliament adopted the first Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP). It supports actions that develop the capacity of enterprise and industry to innovate, with a budget of €3.6 billion in the next seven years. It also boosts energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, environmental technologies and a wider take-up and innovative use of information and communication technology (ICT).
CIP has three main pillars:
- the Entrepreneurship and Innovation programme,
- the ICT Policy Support programme and
- the Intelligent Energy - Europe (IEE) programme.
Intelligent Energy - Europe Programme
With a total budget of €730 million, the Intelligent Energy-Europe Programme aims to increase use of renewable energy and reduced energy consumption by supporting energy efficiency, new and renewable energy sources, and technological solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by the transport sector. Intelligent Energy Europe is addressing key energy challenges in the EU and helping to change systems and habits through more than 260 projects (18), the setting up of local energy agencies and by organising European events.
View all the speeches from the Intelligent Energy - Europe: European Info Day 2009 held on 12 February 2009.
Eco-innovation is at the heart of the Environmental Technologies Action Plan that helps bridge the gap between research & development and the market place for eco-friendly products, technologies, services, processes and management methods across Europe.
Within the framework of the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme, Eco-innovation supports the first application and further market uptake of some of the best eco-inovative products and services in Europe, and helps overcome those critical barriers that still hamper their commercial success.
The Action Plan for Energy Efficiency encourages SMEs to use green investments co-financed by the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme in order to develop and promote eco-innovation. Between 2007 and 2013, some 350 000 SMEs will receive EU support to invest in all forms of innovation and growth.
View all the speeches from Climate change: The potential of Eco-innovation for SMEs held on 13 February 2009.
Further information: ec.europa.eu/environment/etap/ecoinnovation/
Cohesion and Regional Development
Sustainable development (namely energy efficiency and renewable) is one of the 2 key areas (along with the Trans-European transport networks) of intervention of the cohesion fund.
Further information: ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/funds/cf/index_en.htm
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
The ERDF has the objective to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions. Sustainable energy is a priority of the European Regional Development fund. The ERDF is intervening in the three objectives of regional policy:
- Convergence: within this objective the ERDF focus its intervention, among others, in the area of energy.
- Regional development and competitiveness: one of the priorities of this objective aims at "boosting energy efficiency, promoting clean urban transport within towns"
- Territorial cooperation (former INTERREG III initiative)
Further information: ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/funds/feder/index_en.htm
European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
Rural development can contribute to the Kyoto protocol targets for climate change mitigation. Sustainable energy is a cross-cutting area within the new EAFRD 2007-2013. In addition, the development of the provision and innovative use of renewable energy sources must be strengthened as it can also constitute a mean of diversification for the rural economy.
Rural Development policy 2007-2013
| Strategy guidelines for rural development 2007-2013
Seventh RTD Framework Programme (FP7)
The EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), running from 2007 to 2013, allocates in total €32.4 billion out of € 53 billion to co-operative research involving universities, industry, research centres and public authorities throughout the EU and beyond.
SMEs are encouraged to participate in collaborative
research projects within the thematic programmes of FP7, particularly within the "Cooperation" programme. In order to form a favourable environment, a target of
15% SME participation has been set, representing an amount of about 5 bn € until
2013. SMEs benefit from simplified financial and administrative procedures
(e.g. 75% funding rate for SME, reduced reporting
requirements, no bank guarantees). Areas and specific measures of
particular interest to SME have been identified in the individual work
The FP7 "People" programme supports cooperation between academia and
industry and encourages SME participation through staff secondments between
academia and industry, as well as temporary hosting of experienced
Eurostars is a Joint Programme addressing R&D
performing high-tech SME with a total value of 400
million EUR over 6 years. Currently 24 EU Member States and 5 Associated
Countries are committed to the programme. It is a bottom-up programme, supporting small consortia and market-oriented
research. The front office is maintained by EUREKA secretariat. Further information about Eurostars can be found at: www.eurostars-eureka.eu
The LIFE+ Programme has available some €700 million for environmental projects in 2008-2013. SMEs are eligible to seek project funding through an annual, competitive process - the standard grant rate is 50%.
The LIFE+ priorities for SMEs are:
- ETAP: Innovative or pilot projects for the demonstration and dissemination of innovative technologies and practices
- ECAP: Innovative or pilot projects for improving environmental performance (individually or at a network level)
Joint European Resources for Micro to medium Enterprises
The objective of JEREMIE is to improve the access to finance for micro business and SMEs in the regions of the EU. It is an initiative of the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund.
A special focus is given on the support to the Lisbon growth and jobs agenda, by emphasising technology transfer, start-ups, technology and innovation Funds and micro credit.
Further information: ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/funds/2007/jjj/jeremie_en.htm
Local experience is an important source of knowledge in the support of SMEs. This section provides invaluable knowledge for all local and regional actors by highlighting good practice in the form of reports and video recordings.
The Energy Gain - a local training programme
The aim of the Energy Gain is to increase awareness of energy issues in SME in Lidköping, Sweden, by combining education with a voluntary agreement on action taken by the companies. The objective is to have 100 participating companies (manufacturing companies, industrial workshops, agricultural enterprises, real estate companies, groceries, supermarkets and automotive retailers etc) that are making efforts to make their energy use more efficient as well as investing their possibilities to change from fossil fuels to renewable energy, decreasing CO2-emissions as well as emissions of other polluting substances.
The Energy Gain was the winner of the ManagEnergy Local Energy Action Award 2009
ManagEnergy Annual Conference 2009: New Opportunities for Local Energy Actors - Ms. Yvonne Träff, Lidköping Municipality, Sweden - 2009
ExBESS (Benchmarking and Energy management Schemes in SMEs)
Intelligent Energy - Europe project: "Bess" (Benchmarking and Energy management Schemes in SMEs) - Boudewijn Huenges Wajer - 2007
The ExBESS project commenced in October 2007 and is a continuation of the BESS (Benchmarking and Energy management Schemes in SMEs) funded under the Intelligent Energy - Europe project. It extends to the industrial SME sectors in and
beyond the food and drink industry e.g. textile/carpet, machinery, crafts (e.g. installers) etc. ExBESS
aims to implementing energy management and benchmarking in at least 80 additional pilot companies.
These new pilot companies will be enabled to benchmark their energy data with hundreds of other
companies, expected to be included as a result of the BESS outreach.
Other Case Studies
Intelligent Energy - Europe Videos
A number of videos are available on the Intelligent Energy - Europe (IEE) website as well as on other European video websites, including:
Do more with less Energy – Boosting Energy efficiency in the European industry
Better energy management and the switch to modern energy-efficiency technologies help small companies across Europe cope with increasing energy costs and environmental regulation.
The Intelligent Energy - Europe programme boosts innovations that increase industrial competitiveness and help cut down energy costs. Reducing energy consumption and stimulating more efficient industrial activity can be fairly simple. New technologies are important but are often believed to be costly and complicated. For this reason, the IEE programme supports projects that help companies identify suitable technologies that pay off quickly and create competitive advantage.
Intelligent Energy - Europe Videos | Other sources of video recording
The Enterprise Europe Network
A "one stop shop for SMEs"
The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) offers support and advice to businesses across Europe and helps them make the most of the opportunities in the European Union. The Network/EEN is made up of close to 600 partner organisations in more than 40 countries, promoting competitiveness and innovation at the local level within Europe and beyond.
Launched in 2008 by the European Commission, the Enterprise Europe Network combines and builds on the former Innovation Relay Centres and Euro Info Centers (established in 1995 and 1987 respectively). The Enterprise Europe Network is managed in Brussels by the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI), which is also responsible for the Intelligent Energy Europe Network.
The Enterprise Europe Network has established the "Sector Group Intelligent Energy", composed of 58 members from 21 countries, with the aim to support SME clients and research institutes in their internationalisation process. The members offer their clients the necessary guidance, contacts and information to find European business and technology partners for successful technology transfer cooperation, partnership agreements and European research projects. Thematic focus is on renewable energies, energy efficiency and conventional sources of energy.
For more information and the contact details of your closest Enterprise Europe Network partner visit:
The Enterprise Europe Network and local and regional energy agencies
Are you planning an activity or a project that would also target local businesses? The Enterprise Europe Network offers local actors a longstanding expertise and experience in offering services to SMEs. And the Enterprise Europe Network also offers you the possibility to identify valuable partners for any SME-oriented projects in the field of energy (IEE, Territorial Cooperation, etc).
Synergies should be strengthened in order to better meet the needs of small and medium sized businesses regarding sustainable energy.
ManagEnergy Networking Services