As part of Europe’s green recovery, the European Commission invests 1 billion euros in innovative clean technology projects
Led by the European Commission since the end of 2019, the “Green deal” aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 (net absence of GHG emissions), while guaranteeing equitable growth. This will be achieved through a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to at least 50% compared to 1990. To achieve these objectives, several policies and instruments are mobilized, including the Innovation Fund.
Funded by revenues from greenhouse gas emissions trading, the Innovation Fund is one of the largest funding programs in the world. It is expected to be endowed with around 10 billion euros which will be mobilized to support innovative projects for the transition to a low-carbon economy in the EU. The sectors covered are energy, production and processing of ferrous metals, the mineral industry and the paper industry.
On Friday, July 3rd , the first call for proposals under this fund, “Innovation Fund for Large-Scale Projects”, was published on the European Commission’s website. With a budget of 1 billion euros dedicated to grants, it aims to support projects relating to low-carbon technologies and processes worth more than 7.5 million euros. The innovative activities it finances cover 4 main themes:
- low carbon technologies and processes
- CO2 capture, use and geological storage of CO2 under environmentally safe conditions
- renewable energies
- energy storage technologies
Funding (in the form of a grant) will be available for up to 60% of the incremental costs (OPEX and CAPEX) associated with the newly developed technology that significantly reduces GHGs, compared to the costs of a reference technology. The payment of a significant portion of the grant will be conditional on the achievement of actual GHG reductions (funding period: 3 to 10 years).
Projects will be selected on the basis of their effectiveness in preventing greenhouse gas emissions, degree of innovation, maturity, transferability and cost-effectiveness.
This call for proposals is open to both public and private entities without the need for a consortium. Applications may be submitted until 29th of October 2020.
The European Commission is also working on a second call for proposals to be launched at the end of the year. It will be dedicated to small-scale projects, i.e. projects with a total cost of less than 7.5 million euros.