EU launches latest investment fund for low-carbon technologies

4 Apr 2013

The European Commission has launched a second call for renewable energy and carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects to apply for funding under its NER300 programme.

The NER300 funding mechanism was initially launched in 2011 with the aim of providing up to €4.5bn in investment to support carbon capture and sequestration and innovative renewable energy projects across the EU.

Last December, the EU awarded more than €1.2bn in funding to 23 renewable energy demonstration projects under the first call for proposals. At the time, the WestWave wave energy project that’s being led by the ESB off the west coast of Ireland was awarded €19.8m in funding.

NER300 is so called because investment funds will be raised from the sale of 300m emission allowances from the new entrants’ reserve (NER) set up for the third phase of the EU Emissions Trading System. The €1.2bn raised for the first call of proposals was raised from the sale of 200m carbon allowances.

For this funding round, 100m allowances have been set aside, as well as unused funds from the first call. The commission said the exact amount of funding available will depend on the carbon price at the time of sale.

Member states now have three months to gather proposals for funding from interested companies and submit them to the European Investment Bank.

EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said the second round will offer CCS projects and innovative renewable energy projects a new chance to apply for funding, including those that were not successful in the first round.

She said the goal would be to have a full range of low-carbon projects up and running by 2018.

“The EU is continuing its strong support for European businesses which are developing the technologies required to tackle climate change,” said Hedegaard. “The overwhelming response to the first call showed that EU businesses have the know-how and the ambition to lead the low-carbon transition.”

Sustainable energy image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic