Joint Letter: the new LIFE Energy programme

Joint Letter: the new LIFE Energy programme

Solar Heat Europe, with the support of other renewble associations asked members of the LIFE committee for a fair co-financing rate and less cumbersome procedures to be included in the next LIFE programme. Read below the text of our common message.

The next LIFE Committee (comitology committee for the LIFE programme) will discuss a draft of the first LIFE Multiannual Work Programme of the 2021-2027 period.

The Work Programme will be the first to contain topics related to clean energy transition. It will be the new home of topics currently financed by Horizon 2020 dealing with “coordination and support actions aimed at capacity-building, dissemination of information and knowledge, and awareness raising to support the transition to renewable energy and increased energy efficiency“ (CSA).

The ideal LIFE programme 2021-2027 would have the breadth of the 2007-2013 Intelligent Energy Europe Programme and the co-financing rates and efficient online procedures of the ‘Horizon’ programmes (2014-2020 and 2021-2027).

Regarding co-financing rates, those of LIFE risk being substantially lower than those of Horizon, which offers/will offer 100% of direct costs + 25% to cover a share of indirect costs. If this happens, participation in future CSAs will become financially unattractive (or even impossible) unless the topic of the CSA is perfectly aligned with the pre-existing strategy of the individual members of the consortium that would bring a project. The current rates allow organisations to bring their expertise to a project even if they judge the alignment with their strategy to be less than perfect. That increases the quality of projects by ensuring the best competences for the proposal are included. Furthermore, many CSA projects had regional authorities as partners, and aimed at transferring knowledge between them. It is doubtful that all these regions (especially the experienced ones from which the knowledge is transferred) will secure complementary financing. A low EU co-financing rate would put their future at risk.

The LIFE legislation gives the Commission the power to choose what rates will apply to CET projects. The Commission will, we understand, make its proposal in the Work Programme. We ask you to take the message to your colleague in the LIFE Committee that there must be no sudden divergence from current practice.

Yours sincerely,

 Bioenergy Europe, EBA, EGEC, EHPA, EREF, EUREC, Solar Heat Europe, Solar Power Europe, Wind Europe

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