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Towards a climate-neutral Europe: EU invests over EUR 10bn in innovative clean technologies

By State of Green, March 04, 2019

The European Commission has announced an investment programme worth over EUR 10 billion for low-carbon technologies in several sectors to boost their global competitiveness.

EU innovative climate action has a range of benefits for the health and prosperity of Europeans with an immediate, tangible impact on people’s lives – from the creation of local green jobs and growth, to energy-efficient homes with a reduced energy bill, cleaner air, more efficient public transport systems in cities, and secure supplies of energy and other resources.

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said in a press statement:

“Less than three months after adopting our strategic vision for a climate neutral Europe by 2050, we are putting the money where the mouth is. Our objective is to keep building a modern, competitive and socially fair Paris-aligned economy for all Europeans. For this to happen, we will need deployment of clean innovative technologies on an industrial scale. This is why we are investing in bringing to the market highly innovative technologies in energy intensive industries, in carbon capture, storage and use, in the renewable energy sector and in energy storage. We are today unleashing technological solutions in all Member States and pressing the fast-forward button in our transition to a modern and climate-neutral society in Europe.”

The Commission wants to ensure that Europe continues to be at the top of the league as regards new high-value patents for clean energy technologies. This leadership provides a global competitive advantage, allowing Europe to harvest first mover benefits by increasing exports of European sustainable products and sustainable technology and business models.

-Related news: EU close to sourcing 20 per cent of its energy consumption from renewables

Implementing the EU 2050 vision

On 28 November 2018, the European Commission adopted a strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy by 2050 – A Clean Planet for all. The strategy shows how Europe can lead the way to climate neutrality while preserving the competitiveness of its industries by investing into realistic technological solutions. This transition also requires further scaling-up of technological innovations in energy, buildings, transport, industry and agriculture sectors.

The Commission aims to launch the first call for proposals under the Innovation Fund already in 2020, followed by regular calls until 2030.

Danish companies well positioned

Commenting on the EU Innovation Fund, Danish Minister for Energy, Utilities and Climate Lars Chr. Lilleholt said:

“Danish stakeholders are well positioned to tapping the resources from the Innovation Fund and realising the green solutions of the future. I am looking forward to a close collaboration on strengthening Denmark’s position as Europe’s hotbed for groundbreaking new energy technology.”

-Related news: Denmark takes green lead in EU research programme

Background

The Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for climate action, for:

  • 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
  • Energy storage

The Innovation Fund will pool together resources amounting to around EUR 10 billion, depending on the carbon price. At least 450 million allowances from the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) Directive will be sold on the carbon market in the period 2020-2030. The revenues of these sales depend on the carbon price, which is currently around EUR 20.

Any undisbursed revenues from the Innovation Fund’s predecessor, the NER 300 programme, will also be added to the Innovation Fund. Thus, the total endowment of the Fund can be around EUR 10 Billion.

The Innovation Fund aims to create the right financial incentives for companies and public authorities to invest now in the next generation of low-carbon technologies and to give EU companies a first-mover advantage to become global technology leaders.

Sources

The European Commission

Innovation Fund website

The Danish Ministry for Energy, Utilities and Climate (in Danish)

 

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