Billions for Low-carbon Technologies
The first call for the EU’s new Innovation Fund has been published, opening one of the world’s largest funding programmes for demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies.
This article was first published 9 July 2020.
The Innovation Fund will focus on highly innovative technologies and big flagship projects with European value added that can bring on significant emission reductions.
It is about sharing the risk with project promoters to help with the demonstration of first-of-a-kind highly innovative projects.
Over the next ten years the new EU fund will invest €10 billion to scale-up delivery of low-carbon technologies.
The first call will award 1 billion euros to large scale market-ready projects in clean hydrogen, renewable energy, energy intensive industries, energy storage, and carbon capture, use and storage.
Infographic from the European Commission
Focus on Emission Reductions
The Innovation Fund aims to finance a varied project pipeline achieving an optimal balance of a wide range of innovative technologies in all eligible sectors:
- Innovative low-carbon technologies and processes in energy intensive industries, including products substituting carbon intensive ones
- Carbon capture and utilisation (CCU)
- Construction and operation of carbon capture and storage (CCS)
- Innovative renewable energy generation
- Energy storage
The projects need to be sufficiently mature in terms of planning, business model and financial and legal structure. This first call addresses large-scale projects with capital expenditure above 7.5 million euros.
The Innovation Fund will support up to 60% of the additional capital and operational costs linked to innovation.
There is also 8 million euros set aside for projects that are still in development and not yet ready to enter the market as part of the first call.
The application process has two stages:
- Expression of interest, with a first assessment on the project effectiveness, innovation and maturity level. Projects that meet only the first two criteria may qualify for project development assistance.
- Full application, where projects are assessed on all the criteria, including scalability and cost efficiency.
The deadline for submission of applications to the first stage is 29 October 2020. Projects can apply via the EU Funding and Tenders portal.
The deadline for submission of applications to the second stage is expected to be in Q2 2021.
For more information, go to the European Commission’s website for the Innovation Fund, have a look at the Frequently Asked Questions or contact our EU Advisor.