The EU Commission, DG CLIMA, has released preliminary information regarding the Innovation Fund – a call for proposals on small scale projects.

The call will be opened on December 1st, 2020 with a deadline for submission of applications on March 10, 2021. The Innovation Fund aims to support the market-entry of innovative solutions regarding the reduction or elimination of Greenhouse Gas emissions, e.g. first-time project implementation with a “pioneer” customer. DG CLIMA confirmed that inland navigation projects are eligible for the Innovation Fund if the project in question, aims to use renewable or low-carbon energy carriers for vessel propulsion, with a resulting considerable reduction in GHG emissions. This is therefore particularly relevant for IWT’s transition towards zero-emissions.

 

The Innovation Fund is one of the funding instruments supporting the European Commission’s strategic vision for a climate neutral Europe by 2050 as outlined in its communication “A Clean Planet for All” of 28 November 2018.

The Fund will support the demonstration of low-carbon technologies and processes in energy intensive industries (including products substituting carbon intensive ones),  with environmentally safe carbon capture and utilization and storage of carbon dioxide (CCU , CCS), and innovative renewable energy and energy storage technologies.

Eligible projects should have highly innovative technologies with European added value, and be sufficiently mature (in terms of planning, business model, financial and legal structure) and have significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Details regarding the calculation of avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions, criteria for setting the co-financing rates, etc. are still under discussion at the time of writing of this report. No technologies have been pre-defined, and the Innovation Fund will support demonstrations in a pre-commercial stage.

Objectives

The innovation fund focuses on:

  • Innovative low-carbon technologies and processes inenergy intensive industries, including products substituting carbon intensive ones
  • Carbon capture and utilisation (CCU)
  • Construction and operation of carbon capture and storage (CCS)
  • Innovative renewable energygeneration
  • Energy storage

Budget & Financing


The Fund may amount to about €10 billion for the period between 2020 – 2030, 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 support up to 60% of the additional CAPEX and OPEX linked to the innovation.

The grants will be disbursed in a flexible way based on project financing 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.

Innovation Fund grants can be combined with funding from other support programs.

Eligibility

Currently, the Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programs 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
  • Energy storage
  • Cross cutting projects

For all final details about the eligible actions and the official release of the upcoming call, it is necessary to wait for the call text to be published. This is to be expected in the course of December 2020.

Here more information via the official channels

Or directly e-mail via the Innovation Fund Team at DG Climate Action
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Or contact our secretaries directly.

Daisy Rycquart

November 19th, 2020

Secretary I&G Committee