The European Commission has launched the third call for large-scale projects under the EU Innovation Fund. The funding budget is valued at €3 billion ($3.1 billion) coming mainly from the increased revenue from auctioning of EU Emission Trading System (ETS) allowances.
The call will support large-scale projects and support the deployment of industrial solutions to decarbonize Europe. The call will also put special focus on the priorities of the EU flagship policy package REPowerEU, which targets goals like saving energy, producing clean energy, and diversification of energy supplies. CCUS projects will be eligible for at least €1 billion ($1.04 billion) of the funding.
The Innovation Fund is among the world’s most significant funding programs for the demonstration and commercialization of innovative low-carbon technology. It will provide about €38 billion ($3.96 billion) from 2020 to 2030 (at €75 ($78)/tCO2) depending on the carbon price, for the commercial demonstration of low-carbon tech.
Calls under the Innovation Fund focus on construction and operation of carbon capture and storage (CCS), CO2 capture and utilization (CCU), innovative low-carbon technologies and processes in energy-intensive sectors, innovative renewable energy generation and energy storage.
The call will fund the following topics:
€1 billion ($1.04 billion) will be allocated toward general decarbonization and address innovative projects in CO2 capture, use, and storage, renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage, and products substituting carbon-intensive processes. €1 billion ($1.04 billion) will go toward renewable hydrogen production or hydrogen industry uptake. A budget of €0.7 billion ($0.73 billion) will support clean-tech manufacturing and final equipment for electrolyzers and fuel cells, heat pumps, energy storage, and renewable energy. And €0.3 billion ($0.31 billion) will support mid-sized pilots in breakthrough or disruptive technologies in deep decarbonization in all eligible sectors of the Fund.
Projects can now apply through the EU Funding and Tenders portal where information on the procedure is available. Applicants will receive information about the results of the evaluation near the second quarter of 2023, and grant awards and signatures of projects will happen the fourth quarter of 2023. The projects will be assessed by independent evaluators with emphasis on the level of innovation, potential to avoid emissions, scale-up potential, cost efficiency, and financial and technical maturity. The call is open for projects in EU Member States, Iceland, and Norway until March 16, 2023.