EU Announces $1.6 Billion in Funding for Renewables Projects

The European Commission recently announced that it has awarded over €1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) to 23 innovative renewable energy technology (RES) projects. The projects cover a wide range of renewable energy technologies – from bioenergy (including advanced biofuels), concentrated solar power and geothermal power to wind power, ocean energy and distributed renewable management (smart grids). The projects will be hosted in 16 EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The projects awarded funding are listed in the Annex to this document, grouped in alphabetic order by technology category.

The projects awarded funding demonstrated that they represent the most cost-effective use of NER300 public funding, that they are financially and technically robust and that they fulfill strict eligibility criteria. This includes how innovative the technology is and the potential for it to be scaled up and replicated, as well as the reasonable expectation of the project being up and running by the end of 2016, the deadline for entry into operation.

The projects were chosen following a rigorous selection process. After an initial eligibility test carried out by Member States, applications were submitted to the European Investment Bank (EIB) which performed an in-depth technical and financial assessment of the project proposals. On the basis of the final list of confirmed projects, the funding proportion between the CCS and the RES groups was established and the final list of projects for award was established. The funding decision was adopted by the European Commission following a positive vote in the Climate Change Committee on 13 December.

The funds were raised from the sale of 200 million allowances from the new entrants’ reserve (NER) of the EU Emissions Trading System. The sales were carried out by the European Investment Bank between early December 2011 and early October 2012. For more details, see http://www.eib.org/products/ner-300/reports.htm

One of the conditions of the NER300 program is that projects must enter into operation/start generating renewable energy within four years of the funding award. The date of entry into operation of individual projects will take place between 2013 and 2016, with two thirds of projects scheduled to be operational before the end of 2015.

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