The European Commission announced today that it will invest €3 billion in cleantech projects aimed at supporting energy and industrial decarbonization, and accelerating the EU’s energy independence from Russian fossil fuels.
The announcement marks the Commission’s third call for large scale projects under the EU Innovation Fund, one of the world’s largest funding programs for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies. At €3 billion the current call is substantially larger than the first two rounds of €1.8 billion and €1.1 billion, due to increased revenue from the auctioning of allowances under its EU Emissions Trading System.
Allocation areas for the new investments will include €1 billion towards “general decarbonization,” including projects in renewable energy, energy storage or CCUS, and carbon-intensive product substitutes such as low-carbon transport fuels, €1 billion for projects in electrification methods to replace fossil fuel use in industry and hydrogen production and uptake, €700 million for clean tech manufacturing, and €300 million directed to highly innovative projects in disruptive or breakthrough decarbonization technologies.
Projects will be evaluated based on level of innovation, potential to avoid greenhouse gas emissions, operational, financial and technical maturity, scaling up potential and cost efficiency.
EU Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans said:
“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 € 3 billion, 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.”