Please note that programme details for the 2021-2027 framework are forthcoming and the information below relates to programmes from the 2014-2020 framework; however, there may currently be open funding calls for this programme.
LIFE supports environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed more than 4500 projects. For the 2014 – 2020 funding period, LIFE will contribute approximately €3.4 billion to the protection of the environment and climate.
It covers projects related to:
Nature and biodiversity
Environmental and climate governance and information
Climate change mitigation and adaption
Technology for climate change, environment, and low carbon.
A call for proposals is published every year, meaning that every 12 months you can apply for LIFE funding by using the application packages that help you prepare your proposal.
Want to find out more?
More info about this programme is available on the Irish LIFE website. You can also consult the national contact point, Beatrix Aigner at the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.
LIFE: Developing support mechanisms for energy communities and other citizen-led initiatives in the field of sustainable energy
The LIFE programme supports environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU.
Designing adequate public interventions at the local level is key but there is no one-size-fits-all solution to trigger the creation of energy communities locally. The level of public participation and the type of actions required vary significantly depending on the specific context of each city and town. Building on initiatives such as the Covenant of Mayors, there is also a need to strengthen the technical and financial capacities of local actors to support citizen-led initiatives in the field of energy (particularly in Member States with low levels of community energy activity).
This topic will support actions covering at least ONE of the scopes below:
Scope A: Local authorities collaborating with citizen-led-initiatives. Under this scope, proposals should foster the collaboration between local and regional authorities (including energy agencies) and energy communities.
Scope B: Developing integrated services to support community energy.Under this scope, proposals should support actions that improve market conditions and develop integrated services aimed at reducing complexity, simplifying decision making and stimulating the creation of community energy projects. These services may be implemented by public or private actors in close coordination with local and/or regional authorities in targeted territories. The integrated services designed should lead to local community energy investment pipelines.
Activities that can be funded
Proposals for Scope A should include at least 3 of the activities below:
- Participation in and/or set up of municipal energy initiatives and energy communities including diverse and hybrid forms of collective ownership with participation from municipal authorities and citizens aimed at supporting the achievement of local and regional energy policy objectives.
- Support to the emergence of citizen energy initiatives that empower local actors to collectively address energy transition targets through use of public resources, funds and capacity. The role of local and regional authorities could include helping community projects access citizen finance and bank loans (e.g. through guarantees, seed funding for revolving funds, technical support for the early stages of project development) and facilitating procurement of locally generated renewable energy from community energy projects.
- Creation of a supportive local policy framework for the development of community energy projects (e.g. through community participation or investment quotas, more streamlined and simplified environmental permit procedures) and facilitation of a dialogue among different actors involved in community projects (e.g. community members, relevant economic players, national regulators, the local authority and other societal, environmental or energy actors in the area).
- Training and capacity building on community energy development (for local and regional authority officials, local communities and other relevant local actors) and promotion of citizen participation in energy communities.
Proposals for Scope B can include the following activities:
- Capacity building and facilitating access of local energy communities and cooperatives to information and guidance about setting up, financing and operating community projects (e.g. licencing, public procurement of community energy, business models, legal aspects).
- Connecting different actors in the value chain (e.g. technology providers, financiers, public actors in charge of licensing, aggregators).
- Aggregation of small sustainable energy projects including (where relevant) support for energy commercialisation and participation in flexibility markets.
- Development of financial tools to facilitate the emergence of community energy projects and their access to citizen finance and bank loans (e.g. through guarantees, seed funding for revolving funds, technical support for the early stages of project development).
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 (participating countries) or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature
Other entities may participate in other consortium roles, such as associated partners, subcontractors, third parties giving in-kind contributions, etc.
Proposals must be submitted by at least 3 applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities) from 3 different eligible countries.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 1.75 million would allow the specific objectives to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. The costs will be reimbursed at a funding rate of 95%.
All proposals must be submitted directly online via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System.