The Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for
demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies.
The Innovation Fund focuses on:
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 Fund may amount to about €10 billion, depending on the carbon price. In parallel to the Innovation Fund, the EU ETS provides the main long-term incentive for these technologies to be deployed.
The Innovation Fund will:
help create the right financial incentives for projects to invest now in the next generation of technologies needed for the EU’s low-carbon transition
boost growth and competitiveness by empowering EU companies with a first-mover advantage to become global technology leaders
support innovative low-carbon technologies in all Member States in taking off and reaching the market.
The Innovation Fund is designed to take into account the lessons learned from its predecessor, the NER300 programme
. It is bigger and better
in several ways:
Open to projects from energy intensive industries
Improves the risk-sharing for projects: its grants cover up to 60% of the additional capital and operational costs of innovation
Provides support in more flexible way, following the cash flow needs of the project through pre-defined milestones
Simpler selection process
Stronger synergies with other EU funding programmes
Streamlined governance and simplified decision-making
The Innovation Fund will focus on highly innovative technologies and big flagship projects with European value added that can bring on significant emission reductions. It is about sharing the riskwith project promoters to help with the demonstration of first-of-a-kind highly innovative projects.
It aims to finance a varied project pipeline achieving an optimal balance of a wide range of innovative technologies in all eligible sectors (energy intensive industries, renewable energy, energy storage, CCS and CCU) and Member States.
At the same time, the projects need to be sufficiently mature in terms of planning, business model and financial and legal structure.
The Fund will also support cross-cutting projects on innovative low-carbon solutions that lead to emission reductions in multiple sectors, for example through industrial symbiosis or business model innovation.
The Fund is also open to small-scale projects with total capital costs under €7.5 million which can benefit from simplified application and selection procedures.
The application process has two phases:
Expression of interest, with a first assessment on the project effectiveness, innovation and maturity level. Projects that meet only the first two criteria may qualify for project development assistance.
Full application, where projects are assessed on all the criteria, including scalability and cost efficiency.
Project proponents can apply by submitting their projects when there is an open call for proposals.
The Commission aims to launch the first call in 2020, followed by regular calls until 2030.
More details on the application process, including relevant documentation, will be published in the call(s) for proposals.
Projects will be selected based on:
Effectiveness of greenhouse gas emissions avoidance
Degree of innovation
Project viability and maturity
Cost efficiency (cost per unit of performance)
The selection criteria will be weighted according to their relative importance. The final ranking of projects will be established based on comparing the scores across and within different sectors.
The calls for proposals will set the detailed scoring and ranking methodology, as well as possible additional criteria for geographical and sectorial balance.
The Innovation Fund will support up to 60% of the additional capital and operational costs linked to innovation.
The grants will be disbursed in a flexible way based on project needs, taking into account the milestones achieved during the project lifetime.
Up to 40% of the grants can be given based on pre-defined milestones before the whole project is fully up and running.
More information on the DG CLIMA website