The European climate ‘Innovation Fund’ for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies is really starting to pick up the pace. The application round for large-scale innovation projects closed in early March. And a brand new round for small-scale innovation projects was launched on 31 March. This article discusses both rounds, but mainly highlights the opportunities for new project applications.
About the ‘Innovation Fund’
The European Innovation Fund (IF) for climate runs from 2020 to 2030 and has a grant budget of 10 billion euro. The fund supports innovative projects involved in:
- low-carbon technologies and industrial processes
- renewable energy generation
- energy storage
- carbon capture utilisation/storage (CC(U)S).
The focus is on technology and process innovations in energy-intensive industries and particularly on innovations that are almost ready for the market (i.e. in the form of a pilot or demonstration project). Projects may be implemented in EU member states, Norway or Iceland.
Recent large-scale project application round
The Innovation Fund works with official application rounds (‘calls for proposals’). The most recent round closed on 3 March 2022 and concerned large-scale climate projects (of over 7.5 million euro). No fewer than 138 large projects were submitted and those involved are eagerly awaiting news of their application. The latter also applies to EGEN and PNO Group staff, as our consultants were actively involved in 17 different applications. The application amount for all submitted projects within this call amounted to over 12 billion euro.
New call round for small-scale innovation projects…
On 31 March 2022, the Innovation Fund has launched a brand new call. The new call focuses on so-called ‘small-scale’ projects (i.e. projects with a budget/CAPEX of between 2.5 million and 7.5 million euro). And again, the new call round is about high-impact energy or climate innovations, focusing on renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage and CCUS.
The Innovation Fund can support up to 60% of a project’s capital expenditure. Submitted projects will be evaluated against their potential to avoid greenhouse gas emissions, their innovation, their financial and technical maturity, their cost efficiency and their potential for scaling up.
….and the closing date is fast-approaching!
All interested parties should be aware of the short deadline: the new call round is only open for a short time, until 31 August 2022. This means there’s not much time to produce a good grant application.
Assistance from EGEN experts enables applicants to raise the level of their projects and optimise their chances of success. This is important as the competition is huge. The previous application round for ‘small scale’ projects resulted in 232 grant applications, which means the available budget was ten times oversubscribed.
Our experts have vast experience with the Innovation Fund. For example, they were involved in an application for a bio LNG factory on the Attero site in Wilp (the Netherlands). This prestigious project – with a capacity of 2,400 tonnes of bio LNG per year – was awarded a grant of no less than 4.3 million euro!