Major EU call for proposals with tight deadline

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Companies applying for research and development funding for energy projects under the EU's Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) are up against a tight deadline. The FP5 Energie program issued its third call for proposals on March 15, with an end May 2000 deadline for most submissions. In selecting projects for funding, the Commission will focus on actions and technologies that will, in the short to medium term (less than ten years), help the EU meet its Kyoto climate change commitments and its 12% target for renewables' share of Europe's energy balance. Actions which are expected to yield relatively quick results will be in the fields of promoting renewables, including their integration into energy systems; fuel cells; energy efficiency in urban transport; efficient energy services and domestic appliances, and the integration of renewables into buildings; and reduction of local and global environment degrading emissions. The specific work program under the third call includes wind energy optimisation; integrating renewables into the grid and stand alone systems; and improving the efficiency of new and renewable energy sources, including wind turbine components. EUR 100 million is available for the call. Proposals for shared cost actions have to be submitted by May 31, while for concerted actions there are two deadlines: May 31 and September 1. The Energie program replaces the previous Joule/Thermie program which ended in 1998. Energie is set around two key actions: cleaner energy systems, including renewables; and economic and efficient energy for a competitive Europe. But cross-program co-operation forms an important element of FP5, so that projects cover more than one thematic program within the broad framework. The first and second calls for proposals under Energie were a year ago in March 1999 with fixed deadlines of June 1999 and October 1999. The first call, which was of more interest than the second to renewable energy projects, produced 791 eligible proposals. These were narrowed down to an eventual 228 that were deemed worth funding to the tune of EUR 198.2 million. The second call, which focused more on CHP and hydrocarbons, generated 209 eligible proposals, 88 were successful with EUR 107 million of recommended funding.

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