EU invests Eur3.6 bil of ETS revenue in clean tech projects through Innovation Fund

The European Commission has awarded over Eur3.6 billion ($4.0 billion) to large-scale clean technology projects across a range of industries, financed through the EU Innovation Fund using emissions trading revenues, it said in a statement July 13.

The 41 projects cover a range of industries including cement, steel, advanced biofuels, sustainable aviation fuels, wind and solar, and renewable hydrogen and its derivatives, with projects all starting operations by 2030.

“The funding will contribute to the greening of significant sectors of the European economy, in particular those that are difficult to decarbonize,” the EC said.

The projects could save 221 million mt of CO2 across their first 10 years of operations, with a focus on the EU’s REPowerEU plan and phasing out Europe’s reliance on Russian fossil fuel imports, it said.

Under the fund’s “general decarbonization” theme, eight projects received Eur1.4 billion. These included three refinery projects and five in the cement industry.

Under “industry electrification and hydrogen,” 13 projects received Eur1.2 billion, with six focused on hydrogen production and seven on hydrogen consumption in chemicals, refining and steel.

“Clean tech manufacturing” projects were awarded almost Eur800 million, with four electrolyzer manufacturing projects, four in batteries and three on solar photovoltaic panels and modules.

A further nine mid-sized pilot projects received Eur250 million across wind and ocean energy, chemicals, glass, carbon capture and e-fuels.

Further project development funding support for less mature projects will receive backing from the European Investment Bank in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The EC will launch the next call for large-scale project proposals under the Innovation Fund at the end of the year, with a budget of Eur4 billion.

Author James Burgess