The EU Commission announced investments of more than €1.8 billion investment in 17 large-scale clean tech projects, which together have the potential to save 136 million tons of CO2eq over their first 10 years of operation. The projects are located in Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Sweden.
Grants will be disbursed from the EU’s Innovation Fund, one of the world’s largest funding programs for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies. Aimed at bringing breakthrough technologies to the market in energy-intensive industries, the investments target areas including hydrogen, renewable energy, carbon capture, and storage infrastructure, and manufacturing of key components for energy storage and renewables.
European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans said:
“Today’s grants support innovative businesses across Europe to develop the cutting-edge technologies we need to drive the green transition. The Innovation Fund is an important tool to scale up innovations in renewable hydrogen and other solutions for European industry.”
The projects cover a wide range of sectors, contributing to the EU’s decarbonization efforts, including distribution and use of green hydrogen, waste-to-hydrogen, offshore wind, manufacturing of photovoltaic (PV) modules, battery storage, and recycling, carbon capture and storage, sustainable aviation fuels, and advanced biofuels.
According to the EU, the selected projects were evaluated based on their ability to lower GHG emissions in comparison to more established technologies and “innovate beyond the state-of-the-art,” while being mature enough for deployment. The projects’ potential for scalability and cost-effectiveness were also among the selection criteria.
Some of the projects include a Swedish project that will create a first-of-a-kind methanol plant converting CO2, residue streams, renewable hydrogen, and biogas to methanol, and the first full-chain carbon capture and storage project in Bulgaria, linking CO2 capture facilities at a cement plant with offshore permanent storage in a depleted gas field in the Black Sea.
The projects were selected under the second call for large-scale projects, which was launched in October last year. The first call awarded grants of €1.1 billion to 7 projects in energy-intensive industries, hydrogen, carbon capture, use and storage, and renewable energy.
“Compared to the first disbursement round, the funds available have increased by 60%, enabling us to double the number of projects supported. This is a big boost for the decarbonisation of energy-intensive industry in the European Union.”