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Call key data
Project Development Assistance for sustainable energy investments
LIFE - sub-programme “Clean Energy Transition”
Estimated EU contribution per project
between € 500,000.00 und € 1,500,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Project Development Assistance (PDA) offers technical assistance to public and private project developers to deliver energy efficiency and renewable energy investments of ambition and scale.
While LIFE-CET topics such as LIFE-2023-CET-LOCAL or the European City Facility focus on the elaboration of transition plans such as Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs) or the elaboration of investment concepts and building investment pipelines, respectively, the PDA topic aims to support project developers across Europe to deliver a highly ambitious sustainable energy project pipeline. Projects are expected to develop replicable solutions that are mobilising private capital, blending public with private financing, setting up long-term and scalable financial instruments and at the same time overcoming legal and structural barriers. Projects shall demonstrate an innovative approach, for example in advancing existing procurement procedures, in aggregating and structuring investment projects, in advancing market boundaries or changing organisational and regulatory structures.
PDA projects contribute significantly to the European Green Deal goals and will help pave the way for a decarbonised and clean energy system. In the next years, PDA projects are expected to significantly contribute to accelerating the clean energy transition, as pointed out in the REPowerEU Plan to phase out EU dependence on fossil fuel imports, and to contribute to the Green Deal Investment Plan, by stimulating market demand for Net-Zero technologies and assisting in their uptake. A range of very innovative solutions with regard to the financing and mobilisation of investments were demonstrated in past Horizon 2020 PDA projects, which helped to shift market boundaries and demonstrate practical application of inspiring solutions. Examples include the development of a revolving loan fund combining European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding, low interest-loans and third-party financing through Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) to deeply refurbish hospitals in a region, the development of a forfaiting fund using private investments, or the development of sustainable public real estate management and subsequent energy efficiency investments in municipal assets.
PDA projects are expected to continue the good track-record in terms of mobilisation of private investments and increased cost-effectiveness of national and Union public budgetary resources by developing ready-to-finance and bankable projects. In this context, and where relevant, PDA projects should make use of existing EU-programmes in the implementation of future investments.
Expected effects and impacts
Proposals should present the concrete results which will be delivered by the activities, and demonstrate how these results will contribute to the topic-specific impacts. This demonstration should include a detailed analysis of the starting point and a set of well-substantiated assumptions, and establish clear causality links between the results and the expected impacts.
Proposals should result in the launch of an energy efficiency and/or renewable investment programme as well as the delivery of scalable financing solutions for sustainable energy investment projects with a particular emphasis on private sector funds. Proposals submitted under this topic should demonstrate that every million EUR of EU support will trigger at least EUR 15 million of investments in sustainable energy in the form of signed work contracts or investment contracts. In case projects address exclusively investments in residential buildings, the triggered investments should be at least EUR 10 million for every million EUR of EU support. Proposals should also contribute to increased skills and capacity to deliver further sustainable energy investments.
Proposals should quantify their results and impacts using the indicators provided for the topic, when they are relevant for the proposed activities. They should also propose indicators which are specific to the proposed activities. Proposals are not expected to address all the listed impacts and indicators. The results and impacts should be quantified for the end of the project and for 5 years after the end of the project.
The indicators for this topic include:
- Investments in sustainable energy (energy efficiency and renewables) triggered by the project (cumulative, in million Euro).
- Primary energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year).
- Renewable energy generation triggered by the project (in GWh/year).
- Reduction of greenhouse gases emissions (in tCO2-eq/year).
- Number of staff with increased skills within project promoter organisations.
- Number of organisations with increased capacity to deliver investments and/or organisational structures.
Project Development Assistance (PDA) will support project promoters in preparing and launching investment pipelines of sustainable energy projects. The call topic aims to build technical, economic and legal expertise of project promoters needed for the successful project development and implementation. Projects shall demonstrate their added value and lead to the launch of tangible sustainable energy investments within the project duration.
Proposals for PDA projects can be submitted by public or private project promoters such as public authorities or their groupings, public/private infrastructure operators and bodies, energy agencies, energy service companies, retail chains, large property owners, services or industry.
Proposals should demonstrate a clear showcase dimension in delivering replicable solutions for accelerating sustainable energy investments across Europe, as regards
- the organisational innovation for the mobilisation of the investment programme such as setting up project development units or establishing efficient procurement procedures for large-scale bundling and pooling of (mixed) assets. The geographical focus can be at district, city or a wider level; and/or
- financial engineering with a particular focus on leveraging enhanced levels of private investment and improved combination of existing funds. This could include Energy Performance Contracting, financial instruments, blended funds, innovative on-bill and on-tax payment schemes, community-based financing schemes, etc.
Proposals should aim for high ambition levels of energy savings and decarbonisation, such as deep renovation, NZEB standards, positive energy buildings or districts and/or highly energy efficient infrastructure.
Proposals could target sectors including:
- Existing residential buildings including large social housing operators.
- Existing non-residential buildings of public or commercial owners, including defence facilities such as their offices, hospitals and academies.
- District Heating
- Decarbonisation and modernisation of existing district heating/cooling networks, including investments related to the expansion of existing systems.
- Existing public infrastructure such as water/wastewater services or lighting.
- Improving energy efficiency of industry and services, including SMEs through, for example, market facilitators that are supporting investment projects.
- Building-integrated renewables and other small-scale renewables generation and storage.
- Renewable energy production, including from energy communities and other citizen-led initiatives.
- Clean and energy efficient urban transport infrastructure.
- Low emission urban mobility solutions including conversion of urban areas for soft mobility or non-motorised transport.
- Integration of smart recharging infrastructures in buildings, including in multi-family buildings.
- For actions that support the establishment of investment plans developed on the basis of the criteria for ‘efficient district heating and cooling’ as set out in the Energy Efficiency Directive, please refer to the topic LIFE-2023-CET-DHC.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Island (Ísland), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Ukraine (Україна)
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
Proposals must be submitted by at least one applicant from an eligible country.
In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:
- be legal entities (public or private bodies)
- be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
- EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
- non-EU countries:
- 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 (list of participating countries)
- the coordinator must be established in an eligible country
Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).
International organisations are eligible. The rules on eligible countries do not apply to them.
EU bodies — EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.
Financial support to third parties is not allowed.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System (accessible via the Topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section. Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:
- Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants (future coordinator, beneficiaries and affiliated entities) and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)
- Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded)
- Part C (to be filled in directly online) containing additional project data
- Mandatory annexes and supporting documents (to be uploaded):
- detailed budget table (mandatory excel template available in the Submission System)
- participant information including previous projects, if any (mandatory template available in the Submission System)
- table of investments (mandatory template available in the Submission System)
- Optional annexes:
- letters of support
Proposals are limited to maximum 65 pages (Part B).