Clean technology projects prepare bids for a billion euro support package from the European Union under a flagship scheme to finance breakthrough low-carbon technologies. The EU Innovation Fund supports projects such as floating wind farms, carbon capture mechanisms and energy storage, all of which could help clean up sectors such as cement and steel production.
“These large-scale investments will help reboot the EU economy and bring about a green recovery that will lead us to climate neutrality by 2050,” said EU climate chief Frans Timmermans. On Friday, the European Commission invited projects to bid for € 1 billion ($ 1.1 billion) in grants from the fund, which is fed by revenues from the EU carbon market.
Further financing will follow in the next decade. The size of the fund depends on the EU carbon price. At current prices, it would be worth around EUR 12 billion. Spain-based giant for renewable energy, Iberdrola, told Reuters it was submitting several projects.
These include generating hydrogen from renewable sources and energy storage systems that help integrate renewable energy sources into the grid, Agustin Delgado, Chief Innovation and Sustainability Officer, told Reuters. Waste-to-energy company Fortum Oslo Varme told Reuters that it would apply for funds to install Carbon Capture and Storage Technology (CCS) at its facility in Oslo, Norway if the project doesn’t receive enough support from the Norwegian government.
The cost of using CCS to reduce emissions is significantly higher than the price EU companies pay for their CO2 emissions, said Jannicke Bjerkas, the company’s CCS director. “The innovation fund will be critical to bridge the gap in developing these early stage projects,” she said.
The Norwegian Krone 4.3 billion project ($ 453 million), which is part of a larger CCS initiative of KRW 13.1 billion, aims to achieve 90% of the waste-to-energy plant emissions, approximately 400,000 tons CO2 per year. In a letter to Fortum Oslo Varme in May, seen by Reuters, the Norwegian government said state aid was not guaranteed and encouraged the project to apply for the EU innovation fund.
($ 1 = 9.4946 Norwegian Kroner) ($ 1 = 0.8894 Euro)