European Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships (EuropeAid HQ)

RFCS-2023 Coal Pilot and Demonstration Projects

Last update: Jun 20, 2024 Last update: Jun 20, 2024


Location:EU 27EU 27
Contracting Authority Type:Development Institution
Budget: EUR 2,880,000
Award ceiling:N/A
Award floor:N/A
Sector:Environment & NRM, Industry, Commerce & Services, Research
Eligible applicants:Academic Institutions, Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs)
Eligible nationalities:EU 27, Anguilla, Aruba, Bermuda, ... See more EU 27, Anguilla, Aruba, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean Netherlands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, French Polynesia, French Southern Territory, Greenland, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Turks and Caicos, Wallis and Futuna
Date posted: Jun 15, 2023

Attachments 2


Call updates

Feb 13, 2024 4:35:58 PM

The results of the evaluation are as follows:

Number of proposals submitted: 84
RFCS-2023-01 Coal: 23
RFCS-2023-02 Steel: 61

Number of inadmissible proposals: 0
Number of ineligible proposals: 0

Number of above-threshold proposals: 49
RFCS-2023-01 Coal: 10
RFCS-2023-02 Steel: 39

Number of proposals suggested for funding: 27
RFCS-2023-01 Coal: 6
RFCS-2023-02 Steel: 21

Total maximum grant amount: EUR 39.796.326
RFCS-2023-01 Coal: EUR 10.643.743
RFCS-2023-02 Steel: EUR 29.152.583

The applicants were informed on 9 February 2024 about the evaluation results for their proposals.


Sep 25, 2023 11:17:43 AM

On 20 September 2023, the call RFCS-2023 for Coal and Steel closed at 17:00.
In response to this call, 84 proposals were submitted for a total requested EU contribution of 140 MEUR distributed as follows:
- 24 proposals submitted for Coal for total requested EU contribution of 40 MEUR
- 60 proposals submitted for Steel for a total requested EU contribution of 100 MEUR.

Jun 15, 2023 12:00:01 AM

The submission session is now available for: RFCS-2023-01-PDP(RFCS-PJG)

RFCS-2023 Coal Pilot and Demonstration Projects


Programme: Research Fund for Coal & Steel (RFCS)
Call: RFCS-2023 (RFCS-2023)
Type of action: RFCS-PJG RFCS Project Grants
Type of MGA: RFCS Action Grant Budget-Based [RFCS-AG]
Deadline model: single-stage
Opening date: 15 June 2023
Deadline date: 20 September 2023 17:00:00 Brussels time

Research objectives for coal ( Council Decision 2008/376/EC amended by Council Decision EU 2021/1094 )

Article 4 Supporting the just transition of the coal sector and regions

1. Research projects shall support the transition towards a climate-neutral Union economy by 2050, with the objective of supporting the phasing out of fossil fuels, developing alternative activities on former mine sites and avoiding or addressing the environmental damage from coal mines in the process of closure, formerly operating coal mines and their surroundings. Projects shall in particular focus on:

(a) the development and testing of carbon dioxide capture, use and storage technologies;

(b) the use of geothermal energy on former coal sites;

(c) non-energetic uses and the production of raw materials from mining wastes and residues from formerly operating coal mines or those in the process of closure, while duly ensuring that their climate, environmental and health impact is minimised and lower than alternative solutions;

(d) the repurposing of former coal and lignite mines as well as coal-related infrastructure, including power supply services, in line with a climate-neutral and environmentally friendly transition;

(e) the promotion of the development of efficient reskilling and upskilling programmes for workers affected by a coal phase-out, including research on the training and reskilling of workers employed or previously employed in the coal sector.

2. Special attention shall be given to strengthening European leadership in managing the transition of formerly operating coal mines and coal-related infrastructure through technological and non-technological solutions, while supporting technology and non-technology transfer. Research activities with those objectives shall present tangible climate and environmental benefits in line with the objective of climate neutrality by 2050.

Article 5 Improving health and safety

1. Issues concerning safety in coal mines in the process of closure and formerly operating coal mines with a view to improving working conditions, occupational health and safety, as well as environmental issues deleterious to health, shall be taken into account in the projects covering the activities referred to in Articles 4 and 6.

2. Research projects shall focus on diseases related to mining activities with the aim of improving the health of people living in coal regions in transition. Research projects shall also ensure protective measures during the closure of mines and in formerly operating mines.

Article 6 Minimising the environmental impacts of coal mines in transition

1. Research projects shall seek to minimise the impacts of coal mines in the process of closure and of formerly operating mines on the atmosphere, water and soils. Research shall be geared towards preserving and restoring natural resources for future generations and minimising the environmental impact of coal mines in the process of closure and in formerly operating mines.

2. Preference shall be given to projects that envisage one or more of the following:

(a) new and improved technologies to avoid environmental pollution, including methane leakage, of coal mines in the process of closure, formerly operating mines and their surroundings (including the atmosphere, land, soils and water);

(b) capturing, avoiding and minimising greenhouse gas emissions, in particular methane, from coal deposits in the process of closure;

(c) managing and reusing mining waste, fly ash and desulphurisation products from coal mines in the process of closure and formerly operating coal mines, as well as, where relevant, other forms of waste;

(d) refurbishing waste heaps and using industrially residues from coal production and consumption in coal regions in transition;

(e) protecting water tables and purifying mine drainage water;

(f) restoring the environment of former installations or installations that are in the process of closure that used coal, and their surroundings, in particular water, land, soils and biodiversity;

(g) protecting surface infrastructure against the effects of subsidence and ground movements in the short and long term.

Expected Impact:
The European Green Deal Communication, presented by the European Commission in December 2019, is the European growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use.

The Communication also states that all Union actions and policies should pull together to help the Union achieve a successful and just transition towards a sustainable future.

Within the European Green Deal objectives, applicants to the RFCS Coal topics should consider the following elements when preparing their proposals:

A power sector must be developed that is based largely on renewable sources, complemented by the rapid phasing out of coal.
The EU should also reinforce current initiatives [...] on cross-cutting climate and environment issues. This may include ending global fossil fuel subsidies in line with its G20 commitments, [...] phasing out all new coal plant construction, and action to reduce methane emissions.
Focus on the regions and sectors that are most affected by the transition because they depend on fossil fuels or carbon-intensive processes.
Protect people and workers most vulnerable to the transition, providing access to re-skilling programmes, jobs in new economic sectors.

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