The European Commission has announced a new Innovation Fund for low-carbon technologies, to be launched in 2020. The €10billion fund, which is financed by the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and replaces the NER300 programme, will run until 2030, with the aim of reducing the risk for largescale projects that could result in significant emission reductions.
The Innovation Fund aims to create financial incentives for projects to invest in technology development which can support the low-carbon transition and boost growth and competitiveness in the EU. It will focus on five priority areas:
• 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;
The Innovation Fund builds on experiences from NER300, to cover more technologies, provide a more favourable funding rate, simplify the selection process and create new synergies with other EU funding programmes, particularly Horizon Europe, InvestEU, the Connecting Europe Facility and Cohesion Funding.
Projects can receive support of up to 60% of the capital and operational costs of innovation, with the possibility of up to 40% of the grant being given out in the project preparation phase.
The Fund will invest in highly innovative technologies, as well as large-scale flagship projects and cross-cutting projects that can lead to emissions savings in multiple sectors, including industrial symbiosis and business model innovation. Unlike NER300, small-scale projects (capital costs below €7.5million), will also be eligible.
The regulatory framework related to the fund can be accessed here, and more information can be found at the Innovation Fund website.