European Energy Communities Facility

Closed

Programme Category

EU Competitive Programmes

Programme Name

LIFE: ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE ACTION

Programme Description

The LIFE Programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value. After 22 years, €3.4 billion and 4.170 projects, the LIFE Programme continues to finance actions for the environment and climate action. For the 2021-2027 the total budget of the LIFE Programme is €5.4 billion.

Programme Details

Identifier Code

LIFE-2023-CET-ENERCOMFACILITY

Call

European Energy Communities Facility

Summary

The European Energy Communities Facility should offer support services, including financial support to third parties, to develop business plans to grow and implement sustainable energy community projects (addressing e.g. energy efficiency, heating and cooling, renewable energy production and use, electro-mobility).

In order to support the growth of energy communities and make projects less dependent on the income level of community members or the availability of support at local level, this topic aims at creating a Facility able to provide support for the early phases of energy community projects. This support shall be designed to reduce the risk of the pre-development phase and thereby create a bridge between the project idea and the launch of the community investment.

Detailed Call Description

The support directly benefiting third parties planning to launch energy community projects should amount to at least 70% of the budget through a support scheme which may include two different stages:

  • First stage: Pre-screening to check the feasibility of project ideas. The pre-screening should be carried out by a network of dedicated experts at national level able to assess the projects’ viability considering their local conditions.
  • Second stage: Support to the development of business plans for energy community projects considered viable following the pre-screening. Proposals should set up a structure able to deliver financial support to third parties in the form of ‘lump sum grants’ to help projects develop business plans. These plans should be produced within a limited period of time and cover, inter alia: technical analysis of the planned investment project(s), a study of planning considerations and grid connection options, a legal analysis, a governance analysis, an engagement strategy and a clear identification of financing options. The network of national experts should also establish helpdesks to give ad-hoc advice to applicants, help promote the facility, train local actors, support third parties selected for direct financial support in contracting the expertise necessary to develop their business plans, and ensure quality control.

Proposals should outline their approach to ensure that the process and criteria for the allocation of financial support to third parties is conform to EU standards concerning transparency, equal treatment, conflict of interest and confidentiality.  In accordance with the EU Financial Regulation, when designing schemes to provide financial support to third parties, applicants should outline:

  • the different types of activities that may receive such financial support.
  • the definition of the persons or categories of persons which may receive such financial support.
  • the criteria to select beneficiaries, including, inter alia, the ambition of the energy-related impacts, the potential impact in the context of community energy in a particular country, the soundness of the business model envisaged, and the foreseen use of potential profits.

The proposed direct financial support shall be targeted only to third parties which are compliant with the definition of “Renewable Energy Community” or “Citizen Energy Community” in EU legislation or are developing structures which aim to qualify as such.

The Facility should also establish an appropriate framework for comprehensive monitoring, analysis and capitalisation of results, which will inform the design of future potential phases of the initiative, as well as policy development.

The Facility shall also carry out supporting actions to help best practice sharing and peer to peer exchanges between energy communities. In particular, applicants should plan cross-country trainings as well as a series of open strategic dialogues across Europe.

The European Energy Communities Facility should also monitor the emergence of services delivering support for project development in the different Member States (capacity building and technical assistance) and, to the extent possible, exploit potential synergies with those. It may also collaborate with other relevant initiatives such as the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, the EU City Facility and the European Island Facility, the Smart Cities Marketplace and the Support Service for Citizen-led renovation.

Call Total Budget

€10 000 000

Financing percentage by EU or other bodies / Level of Subsidy or Loan

95%

Expected maximum EU contribution: €10 000 000

Thematic Categories

  • Energy

Eligibility for Participation

  • International Organisations
  • Investment Funds
  • Large Enterprises
  • Private Bodies
  • State-owned Enterprises

Eligibility For Participation Notes

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must be legal entities (public or private bodies) established in EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs) or listed EEA countries and countries associated to the LIFE Programme (associated countries) or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature.

Proposals must be submitted by at least 3 applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities) from 3 different eligible countries.

Call Opening Date

11/05/2023

Call Closing Date

16/11/2023

National Contact Point(s)

Department of Environment

Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment
www.lifecyclamen.com.cy

Contact Persons 
Marilena Papastavrou
Environment Officer, National Contact Point for Environment
Telephone: +357 22 408 926
Email: mpapastavrou@environment.moa.gov.cy

Chrystalla Papastavrou
Environment Officer, National Contact Point for Climate
Telephone: +357 22 408 962
Email: cpapastavrou@environment.moa.gov.cy

EU Contact Point

European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

https://cinea.ec.europa.eu/life_en

https://cinea.ec.europa.eu/life_en

Contact: https://cinea.ec.europa.eu/contact-0_en