The European Commission has launched the first call for proposals under the EUR 10 billion Innovation Fund, which will finance breakthrough technologies for renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage, and carbon capture, use and storage. The fund is expected to help boost the EU economy’s green recovery following the COVID-19 crisis.
The first call will provide EUR 1 billion in grants to large-scale projects for clean technologies to help them overcome the risks linked to commercialization and help new technologies to reach the market, according to a press release from the commission.
The call is open for projects from all EU member states, as well as Iceland and Norway. The deadline for submission of applications is October 29, 2020.
The funding will include low-carbon solutions for industries like steel, cement and chemicals
Frans Timmermans, the commission’s executive vice-president for the European Green Deal, said the funding will include clean hydrogen and other low-carbon solutions for energy-intensive industries like steel, cement and chemicals.
Timmermans also said that these investments will create a green recovery that will help the EU achieve climate neutrality in 2050.
The Innovation Fund is financed by EU ETS revenues
The Innovation Fund is financed by revenues from the auction of emission allowances from the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), and it may amount to about EUR 10 billion in the 2020-2030 period, depending on the carbon price.
The fund is a key financing instrument for delivering the EU’s commitments under the Paris Agreement and supporting the European Commission’s strategic vision of a climate neutral Europe by 2050. It should also give EU companies a first-mover advantage to become global technology leaders.
The fund is a “bigger and better” successor of the NER300 program
The EU’s Executive Agency for Networks and Innovation (INEA), which is implementing the fund, said it is a “bigger and better” successor of NER300, a EUR 2 billion program designed to support carbon capture and innovative renewable energy technologies. INEA also noted that the Innovation Fund will benefit from any unspent funds from NER300.