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Financing - R&D


Horizon 2020 is the new EU framework programme for research and innovation for the years 2014-2020 and it follows the 7th Framework Programme (FP7). The new Framework Programme represents the main tools to finance Research, Development and Innovation for photovoltaics at EU level.

The main elements of the Horizon 2020 are as follows:

  • Almost 6 billion € budget for energy: the total amount available for energy in Horizon 2020 5,931 M€. This represents a significant increase, compared to the 2,350 M€ available in FP7.  Horizon 2020 also includes a non-binding ‘endeavour’ to allocate at least 85% of the “Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy” budget to renewable energy, end-user energy efficiency, smart grids and energy storage activities.

  • Market focus: Horizon 2020 explicitly focuses on industry-, innovation-based and close-to-market projects.

  • Challenge-based calls: the topics of the calls of Horizon 2020 are broadly defined by challenge, which are common for several technologies.  In the Work Programme 2014-2015 all renewable electricity sources have been included in the same call.

  • Access to risk finance: Debt and equity facilities have been created on the basis of existing financial instruments and closely linked to Horizon 2020.

  • Clearly limited time to grant: The maximum time to grant for one-stage calls has been limited to 8 months.

The new Work Programme is biannual (it was annual in FP7), running for the period 2014-2015. 

The Dedicated briefing for EPIA Members on Horizon 2020 first calls relevant to PV is available here.

SOPHIA RI Project - A unique entry point to many European PV Research Facilities

The SOPHIA project, co-financed by the FP Infrastructure programme, aims at bringing together the main European Photovoltaic Research Infrastructures in order to provide the scientific community with common referential to conduct efficient and coordinated research work in the field of PV technologies.

The SOPHIA project will address the issues of fragmentation and costly duplication of research at the European scale. Large research infrastructures working together will avoid the useless replication of a large number of small efforts.

Read more: www.sophia-ri.eu

Please log in to the Members Area to access the Dedicated briefing for EPIA Members on Horizon 2020 first calls relevant to PV.


The Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan represents the technology pillar of the European climate and energy policy. It also represents the framework within which the Solar Europe Industry Initiative (SEII) has been established. 5 other European Industrial Initiatives have been created, each one dedicated to one of the low-carbon technology identified by the SET Plan. 

The SEII focused on photovoltaics and concentrated solar power. It was launched in June 2010 with the goal of facilitating the reduction of PV generation costs and its integration into the electricity grid in a fast and cost efficient way. It is based on a 10 years technology roadmap that identifies the R&D priorities and ensures an alignment of public and private investments.

Every 3 years an Implementation Plan, drafted with the contribution of the PV industry, lists the R&D priorities that need to be addressed on the medium-term. The current SEII Implementation Plan covering the 2013-2015 period features 3 thematic pillars; performance enhancement & energy cost reduction, quality assurance and electricity system integration. The overall budget estimated for the implementation of the PV part of the SEII is € 9 billion, of which 10% should be provided by the EU budget, 20% by Member States and 60% by the private sector. The impact of the SEII is measured against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

The governing body leading the implementation of the initiative, the SEII team, monitors its progresses, ensure links with the other European Industrial Initiatives and liaise with the SET-Plan Steering Group. The team is composed by industry representatives drawn from the EPIA secretariat, its Members, the EU Photovoltaic Technology Platform and representatives from the European commission (DG RTD), Member States, the European Energy Research Alliance and the European Investment Bank.


The European Photovoltaic Technology Platform (EU PV TP) is the main forum for PV stakeholders to create a strategy and corresponding implementation plan for research & technology development, education and market deployment of photovoltaics. 

The platform’s Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) includes an overview of all the R&D needs of the PV sector and the related recommendations for research topics in order to reach cost-reduction targets set for 2020 and 2030.

The EU PV TP was established in 2007 with the support of the Seventh European Framework Programme. Its consortium includes EPIA as the project leader, along with EUREC, JRC and WIP for the organization of the secretariat of the Platform. The secretariat provides supporting activities to a network of experts drawn from the research, academia and industry sectors, making the platform an independent and objective body. The 140 Members are organised in four working groups: policy & instruments, market & deployment, science technology & application and developing countries.

In addition, the “Mirror Group” reunites representatives of the Member States’ ministries. Its mission is to ensure exchange of information between the platform and Member States. Steering and executive committees ensure the coordination of the platform activities. 

In the framework of the Solar Europe Industry Initiative (SEII), the platform contributes to the drafting of triennial implementation plans and is represented in the SEII team. 

Find out more at www.eupvplatform.org 

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