The EU Commission has announced that it is financing €3 billion to support innovative clean tech projects to reduce Europe’s dependency on Russian fossil fuels.
The sizable investment is provided under the EU Innovation Fund, a budget that has doubled due to the increased revenue from auctioning EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) allowances. Due to this fiscal power, the European Commission is launching the third call for large-scale projects to pioneer industrial clean tech solutions to decarbonise Europe.
What clean tech projects is the Commission targeting?
The call will have a particular focus on the priorities of the REPowerEU Plan and will fund projects covering the following topics:
- €1bn of the budget is available for general decarbonisation ventures, such as innovative projects in renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage or carbon capture, use, and storage, as well as products substituting carbon-intensive ones, including low-carbon transport fuels;
- Innovative electrification in industry and hydrogen will be allocated €1bn. This will be employed to support projects advancing electrification methods to replace the use of fossil fuels, in addition to renewable hydrogen production or hydrogen uptake in the industry;
- €0.7bn will be invested into clean tech manufacturing, focusing on the creation of components as well as final equipment for electrolysers and fuel cells, renewable energy, energy storage and heat pumps; and
- Mid-sized pilot projects have been awarded €0.3 billion to develop disruptive or breakthrough clean tech for deep carbonisation. Projects should prove the innovation in an operational environment but would not be expected to reach large-scale demonstration or commercial production.
Frans Timmermans, the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, commented: “Today more than ever, we need to boost innovation and scale up technological solutions that tackle the climate crisis and bring Europe energy sovereignty. The faster we do so, the quicker we will become immune to Russian energy blackmail. With this new call of €3bn, the EU Innovation Fund will support even more clean tech projects than before, speeding up the replacement of fossil fuels in hard-to-decarbonise industries and accelerating the uptake of renewable hydrogen in the EU market.”
How can projects apply for funding?
Projects can apply through the EU Funding and Tenders portal, which includes more information about the procedure. Applicants will be informed about the evaluation results in the second quarter of 2023. The grant awards and signature of projects will take place in the fourth quarter of 2023.
The projects will be independently assessed according to their level of innovation, potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, operational, financial, and technical maturity, scaling up potential and cost efficiency. The call is open to projects in EU Member States, Iceland, and Norway until 16 March 2023. Projects that are not sufficiently mature or a grant may benefit from project development assistance from the European Investment Bank.