The investment program will contribute to the scale-up of innovative technologies for a more sustainable Europe.
The EC launched a €10 billion investment program, the Innovation Fund, for both small- and large-scale demonstration projects for low-carbon technologies in several sectors, to boost the global competitiveness of the EU industry, ensuring that Europe “continues to be at the top of the league in high-value patents for clean energy technologies”.
The creation of the Innovation Fund comes in the wake of the adoption in November 2018 of the EC’s strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy by 2050 – ‘A Clean Planet for All’ (see news of 04 December 2018: “The new EC Climate Strategy – a rocky road to climate neutrality”). The strategy charts the path to European climate neutrality, while at the same time preserving the competitiveness of regional industry, which necessitates the scale-up of technological innovations in energy, buildings, transport, industry and agriculture.
The Innovation Fund will be one of the world’s largest funds for climate action, benefiting from revenues from allowances sold under the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) for the 2020-2030 period. The total amount raised from the ETS allowance sales is expected to be no less than €450 million although the exact amount will depend on the carbon price, which is currently approximately €20/tonne of CO2. Unused revenues totalling approximately €487,6 million from the prior ETS program, NER 300, will also be added to the Innovation Fund. Ventures with eligible costs under €7,5 million will qualify for simplified application and selection procedures.