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Call: LC-GD-2-3-2020: Accelerating the green transition and energy access partnership with Africa

Type of Fund Action programme
Description of programme
"Horizon 2020 - Societal Challenges "
A challenge-based approach will bring together resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and disciplines, including social sciences and the humanities. This will cover activities from research to market with a new focus on innovation-related activities, such as piloting, demonstration, test-beds, and support for public procurement and market uptake.
Funding focuses on the following challenges:
  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing;
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy;
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy;
  • Smart, green and integrated transport;
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials;
  • Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies;
  • Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.
Link Link to Programme
Description of programme
"Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials"

This Subprogramme aims to achieve a resource- and water-efficient economoy and society that is also resilient to climate change. Furthermore, it seeks to promote the protection and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems. Lastly, the Programme also supports the sustainable supply and use of raw materials, in order to meet the needs of a growing global population within the sustainable limits of the planet's natural resources and eco-systems.

LC-GD-2-3-2020: Accelerating the green transition and energy access partnership with Africa
Description of call
"LC-GD-2-3-2020: Accelerating the green transition and energy access partnership with Africa"

This action responds to the Joint Communication for a Comprehensive Strategy with Africa adopted on 9/3/2020, which highlights that innovation is key to enable African countries to pursue sustainable pathways to development through a low-carbon, climate resilient and green growth trajectory, leapfrogging fossil fuel technologies. It will contribute to the present R&I Partnership on Climate Change and Sustainable Energy of the EU/AU High-Level Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation that is expected to strongly contribute to Action 1 of the Comprehensive Strategy with Africa.

The African continent has an enormous renewable energy potential which just began to be harnessed successfully. The adoption of innovative, affordable and efficient renewable energy solutions will support Africa in achieving sustainable development growth and economic transformation.

Africa still faces major challenges related to ensuring access to energy for all and beyond, to the development of its industrial base to create much-needed jobs. In line with the Africa-Europe Alliance for sustainable investment and jobs, the EU-AU R&I Partnership on Climate Change and Sustainable Energy aim to support the development of sustainable energy solutions appropriate to the African context that will address these challenges.

Experience has shown that existing innovative solutions and technologies generated for developed markets need to be adapted and tailored to, and demonstrated in, the multi-faceted context of Africa. The goal is to bring not only economic, but also environmental, social and health benefits. To facilitate market uptake and sustained deployment of technologies, R&I policies need to be coupled with capacity building and appropriate financing solutions. Additional considerations of affordability, suitable distribution channels as well as meaningful engagement with civil society in the implementation of research projects are also key for the success of potential technological solutions. The involvement of private and/or public European and African investors to sustainable energy solutions is key to the sustainable economic development of Africa with benefits to both continents.

Significant efforts are being made (including with the support of the European Commission) to address the development of innovative solutions through research and innovation actions. However, demonstrations of the value of these solutions are still needed.


Actions should demonstrate innovative sustainable energy solutions that consider climate adaptation and mitigation potential compared to other technologies/solutions in the African social, economic and environmental contexts. The solutions may address:

  • development of renewable energy sources, including solutions for off-grid communities, and their integration into the existing energy system, considering the generation of renewable energy, the transmission, and the use of storage/battery systems.
  • energy efficiency

Solutions should consider both urbanised and rural contexts in Africa, and the ongoing water-energy-food nexus action, with the aim of providing sustainable energy access (electricity/cooking) and/or creating improved health, economic wealth and jobs (productive use of energy/energy efficiency).

Actions should design, construct, commission and operate the demonstration installation. Actions should also develop and implement a tailored value chain approach, identifying the most suitable manufacturing value chains, on the basis of the local context, local material supply chain(s) and local workforce, with the objective of ensuring sustainable local economic development. Actions should also include the identification of technical, vocational and educational needs of the workforce and propose relevant training and qualification activities. Actions should finally define a market and business strategy to ensure impact through a quick and viable commercial take-up of the technological solution demonstrated.

Proposals should include a life cycle analysis showing the impact of the proposed solutions compared to other technologies/solutions on the environment, on climate change targets and on the social and the economic dimensions, taking a cradle to grave viewpoint. Where relevant, proposals should consider adopting a circular economy approach, aligned with the European Green Deal[4] priorities.

In line with the Union’s strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation, international cooperation is encouraged. As the demonstration installation will be located in Africa, relevant African partners have to participate in the implementation of the project. A balanced consortium between European and African partners will be considered an asset in the evaluation.

Copernicus data and products (focussed on available hydro, wind, solar or marine energy resources) may also support life cycle analysis to evaluate the impact on humans and the environment (including impact on biodiversity) these new energy plants.

Actions should also participate in and contribute to the EU/AU Partnership on Climate Change and Sustainable Energy, in particular through cooperation/collaboration with the project to be funded under the topic LC-SC3-JA-5-2020, “Long Term EU-Africa Partnership for Research and Innovation actions in the area of renewable energy”.

Expected Impact:

The demonstrators should provide evidence of the following short-term expected impacts:

  • technologically reliable and economically viable solutions;
  • proven positive environmental, health, climate, social and economic impacts of the renewable energy solutions, by putting in place measures and mechanisms in line with the highest European Environmental and Social standards (see ESIA procedure), and taking into consideration the upcoming taxonomy principles and mechanism;
  • climate adaptation and climate mitigation potential of the solutions compared to other technologies/solutions;
  • strengthening of the joint EU-AU Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Partnership efforts, with emphasis on improving the visibility of EU Science Diplomacy actions in Africa.

The following medium term impacts are expected:

  • creation of new market opportunities for both European and African companies on the African continent;
  • technological uptake on the African continent;
  • acceleration of the achievements of the African continent’s targets of the Paris Agreement, in line with Europe’s Green Deal ambition of climate neutrality, and its external dimensions.

Longer term impacts expected:

  • economic growth and job creation, both in the EU and in African countries.

In addition, the proposed solutions are expected to evidence benefits to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12 and 13.

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Disaster Prevention, Resiliance, Risk Management, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Children & Youth, Education & Training
Funding area EU Member States
Albania / Shqipëria
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Iceland / Ísland
Montenegro / Crna Gora/Црна Гора
North Macedonia / Северна Македонија
Norway / Norge
Serbia / Сpбија
Switzerland / Schweiz / Suisse / Svizzera
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Albania / Shqipëria
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Iceland / Ísland
Montenegro / Crna Gora/Црна Гора
North Macedonia / Северна Македонија
Norway / Norge
Serbia / Сpбија
Switzerland / Schweiz / Suisse / Svizzera
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, National Government, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details All legal entities located in the EU or in Third Countries can participate in Horizon 2020
Project Partner Yes
Further info At least two partners from at least one African country must be part of the consortium.

Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement signature (single stage procedure):
  • Information on the outcome of the evaluation: Maximum 5 months from the final date for submission; and
  • Indicative date for the signing of grant agreements: Maximum 8 months from the final date for submission.
Type of Funding Grants
Financial details Total call budget:
  • IA Innovation action: EUR 40 million
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 to 10 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Funding rate for IA: 70% (except for non-profit legal entities, where a rate of 100% applies)

Submission Online via Funding & Tenders Portal
Contact Details Link to the National Contact Point Finder.

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