- European Commission is seeking proposals under the €1 billion Innovation Fund open to projects from EU member states, Norway and Iceland
- It will support development of low-carbon technologies and also back promising projects not yet ready for the market
- Between 2020 and 2030, the commission will disburse €10 billion under the fund
The European Commission has invited proposals for its €1 billion ($1.1 billion) Innovation Fund to finance breakthrough technologies for renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage, carbon capture use and storage. It is part of the commission’s green recovery plan to encourage local ‘future-proof’ job generation and steer the region towards innovative low-carbon technologies.
The commission calls it one of the world’s largest funding programs for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies.
Under the first call issued, funding will be available to large-scale projects for clean technologies which will hedge them against risks linked to commercialization and large-scale demonstration while helping new technologies come to the market. The commissions stressed that an additional €8 million ($9 million) is also available for project development assistance for promising projects not yet ready for the market. The latter part will be managed by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Evaluation will be done on the basis of the project’s ability to avoid GHG emissions, innovation potential financial and technical maturity, cost efficiency, and potential for scaling up. The funding amount can be used in cooperation with other public funding initiatives as state aid or other EU funding programs.
Eligible projects from all EU member states, Iceland and Norway can apply for this funding latest by October 29, 2020 in stage 1. These projects will then be required to submit a full application or will receive project development assistance in Q1/2021. In stage 2, scheduled for Q4/2021, final awards will be announced.
Detailed terms and conditions along with eligibility criteria for these projects can be viewed on the EC website.
To be implemented by the Executive Agency for Networks and Innovation (INEA), this Innovation Fund is financed by revenues from the auction of emission allowances from the European Union’s (EU) Emissions Trading System. During the period 2020 to 2030, this fund will allocate around €10 billion ($11 billion) while also shelling out undisbursed revenues from the fund’s predecessor the New Entrants’ Reserve (NER) 300 programme.
“The EU will invest €1 billion in promising, market-ready projects such as clean hydrogen or other low-carbon solutions for energy-intensive industries like steel, cement and chemicals,” said the commission’s Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans. “We will also support energy storage, grid solutions, and carbon capture and storage. These large-scale investments will help restart the EU economy and create a green recovery that leads us to climate neutrality in 2050.”
In May 2020, Euractiv reported about European Commission plans to include €25 billion capital investment for a 15 GW renewable energy tendering scheme as part of the EU Recovery Plan for COVID-19.