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Brussels, 9 December 2009
Selection of offshore wind and carbon capture and storage projects for the European Energy Programme for Recovery
1. General Introduction
EEPR – helping the economy and responding to the challenges of security and climate change in the energy sector
The origin of the European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR) is the global €200 billion European Economic Recovery Plan presented by the Commission on 26 November 2008 2 . The focus of the Plan is on containing the impact of the crisis: protecting jobs and purchasing power, boosting infrastructure and creating jobs in the low carbon sectors of the future. The Recovery Plan sets out how Member States and the European Union could coordinate their policies in order to provide new stimulus to the European economy and increase Union spending in strategic sectors. Investments in energy projects were considered an important tool to support the economic recovery. The Plan was endorsed by the European Council in December 2008 where the Commission was invited to present a list of concrete energy projects.
The EEPR Regulation 3 , which established the EEPR programme, was proposed by the Commission in January 2009, adopted in July and entered into force in August of the same year. The EEPR proposed a significant Union contribution of almost €4 billion to co-finance specific energy projects within three sub-programmes: gas and electricity interconnections, offshore wind energy, and carbon capture and storage. It is expected that the EEPR contributes to the recovery of European economy by responding to the key security and environmental challenges in the energy sector.
The EEPR helps to speed up and secure investments in the energy sector, which will have a direct impact on the EU economy and employment. It will also help to improve the security of supply of the most vulnerable Member States and link ‘energy islands’ to the rest of the EU energy market. The EEPR will also speed up the implementation of the 20/20/20 objectives for 2020, by supporting the deployment of innovative technologies in the fields of renewable energy and carbon capture and storage.
The EEPR Regulation created the basis for providing substantial co-financing from the Union budget to key energy projects. Never before has the EU agreed to dedicate such a significant amount to energy infrastructures. The €3.98 billion budget for the implementation of the Regulation is allocated as follows:
1. gas and electricity infrastructure projects: €2.365 billion (60% of budget)
2. offshore wind energy projects (OWE): €0.565 billion (14% of budget)
3. carbon capture and storage projects (CCS): €1.05 billion (26% of budget)
While wind energy is now produced on an industrial scale in the EU, in many countries, environmental and other concerns continue to limit wind farm developments. Therefore, attention is shifting to offshore sites, which are possibly less contentious and where the quality of wind resources is higher. T he development of offshore wind energy capacities is an opportunity for the industry. By the same token, it increases the diversity of the energy mix, contributes to the security of electricity supply and helps in reaching the EU objectives for renewable energy and for the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions. Union support via the EEPR will contribute to the large-scale validation of projects in this sector. The EEPR Regulation foresees that an important part of the budget for offshore wind energy will support integrative projects for interconnecting offshore wind farms, including large-scale storage systems. The funded wind-grid integration projects aim to realise a substantial EU-wide improvement of the large scale supply of offshore wind electricity up to the end-user at acceptable costs, while ensuring a more efficient, stable and secure grid.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies represent a promising and potentially very powerful instrument for fighting climate change. However, CCS is not currently demonstrated on a large scale nor is it commercially viable. The next challenge on the way to the widespread use of CCS is to demonstrate its technical and economic viability on large-scale power plants. In addition, CCS will represent a real opportunity for Europe to lead the global market. In this respect, EEPR support will be decisive in facilitating wider demonstration of CCS technologies in Europe.
From the Regulation to providing Union financial assistance to projects
It is well in the spirit of the Recovery Plan to ensure that the financial assistance reaches the projects in the shortest possible time to increase the stimulus effect on the real economies. The progress of the EEPR to date shows that this principle has been shared by all the actors involved in the process: the European Institutions, Member States and the promoters of the projects. Nevertheless, it is clear that the proper management of such a complex process requires following certain steps and it is also clear that it will take time to realise it. The simplified blueprint below shows the main stages of the process.
Adoption of the EEPR Regulation
Call for proposals
Evaluation of the submitted proposals
Proposal of the Commission on granting EEPR assistance to selected projects
Comitology – approval of Commission’s proposal
Right of Scrutiny of the European Parliament
Adoption of the Award Decision
Adoption of the Individual Decisions granting Union aid to individual projects / Signature of grant agreements
Implementation of individual decisions / grant agreements (pre-financing, further payments; monitoring)
2. Call for proposals - legal framework
Under the EEPR Regulation the Commission was entrusted with the task of calling for proposals in order to identify the actions that would implement the projects listed in its Annex. Part A named the eligible projects in the field of gas and electricity infrastructure, Part B – the eligible projects in the field of offshore wind projects and Part C named the eligible projects in the field of carbon capture and storage. The Regulation, while laying down rules for financing, common to the three sub-programmes, provided nevertheless for distinct eligibility, selection and award criteria for each sub-programme. The call for proposals was launched on this basis. It was published on 19 May 2009 as a single call for proposals for the whole EEPR programme, but provided separate criteria for each of the sub-programmes in its terms and conditions. The Commission had the duty to assess the compliance of the submitted proposals with the eligibility, selection and award criteria as set out in the Call for Proposals and in the Regulation.
Offshore wind energy projects
Proposals, submitted in writing, were eligible for EEPR assistance only if they implemented the projects listed in the Annex, Part B of the EEPR Regulation, did not exceed the maximum amount of EEPR assistance laid down there and fulfilled the selection and award criteria under the specific sub-programme of the EEPR Regulation. Proposals had to be submitted by one or several undertakings, acting jointly. Proposals submitted by natural persons were not eligible.
The selection criteria were the following:
(a) the soundness and technical adequacy of the approach. A detailed description of the work plan, including definition of milestones for the overall project, had to be provided.
(b) the soundness of the financial package for the full investment phase of the project. A cost plan describing all investment-related expenditures for the project was to be provided). Applicants needed to commit to making their own financial contribution to the project and identify other financing sources in case their own resources and EEPR funding together was insufficient to fully finance the project.
Award criteria, scoring
In assessing the proposals received under the call, the Commission was to apply the award criteria mentioned below. Each submission was assessed against the applicable criteria independently, giving marks and providing comments. Proposals were evaluated on a points scale from 0 to 100 as follows:
(a) maturity, defined as reaching the investment stage, and incurring substantial capital expenditure by the end of 2010. A detailed list of investment-related expenditure planned for 2010 was to be provided 4 . The work plan needed to demonstrate soundness of management and to provide sufficient evidence that these expenditures can be realised by the end of 2010. A list of all permits and a strategy on how to obtain them needed to be provided 5 . Particular attention was given to the political, economic, administrative and environmental aspects of developing and deploying the project. (Points 20/100)
(b) proposals had to show that there are insufficient other sources of financing available that would allow them to go ahead with the initial phase of the project. (Points 10/100)
(c) the extent to which the project would improve or increase the scale of installations and infrastructures that had already been under construction, or were in the planning phase. (Points 10/100)
(d) the extent to which the project included the construction of full-size and industrial-scale installations and infrastructures, and the extent to which it addressed in particular: (Points 20/100)
(e) the innovative features of the proposal. The applicants needed to include a technical description and a cost description of the innovative or upgraded components of the project as well as all necessary milestones to achieve their installation and operation. For each proposal, only the costs relating to innovative items and components identified in the call 6 could be subject to funding. The innovative character of items and components was to be assessed on the basis of a comparative analysis with the state-of-the art of the relevant technology that the applicants needed to provide. (Points 15/100)
(f) the impact of the proposal and its contribution to the Union's offshore wind grid system, including its replication potential. The applicants needed to explain in detail the contribution of the proposal to large scale penetration of wind farms into electricity networks. (Points 15/100)
(g) the commitment demonstrated by the beneficiaries to diffuse the results of technological advances made by the project to other European operators in a manner compatible with Union law and in particular with the objectives and structures outlined in the Strategic Energy Technology Plan for Europe. The applicants needed to list and describe the measures for the dissemination of project results as well as the target audience. (Points 5/100)
(h) soundness and adequacy of the management plan. (Points 5/100)
Carbon capture and storage projects
Proposals, submitted in writing, were eligible for EEPR assistance only if they implemented the projects listed in the Annex, Part C of the EEPR Regulation, did not exceed the maximum amount of EEPR assistance laid down there and fulfilled the selection and award criteria under the specific sub-programme of the EEPR Regulation. In addition, proposals had to comply with the following conditions:
(a) projects had to demonstrate that they had the ability to capture at least 80% of CO 2 produced in the industrial operation and the ability to transport and geologically store this CO 2 safely underground;
(b) in power installations, CO 2 capture had to be demonstrated on an installation of at least 250 MW electrical output or equivalent (the full amount of flue gas emitted by this installation had to be treated by the capture installation);
(c) project promoters had to make a binding declaration that the generic knowledge generated by the demonstration plant would be made available to the wider industry and to the Commission to contribute to the implementation of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan for Europe.
Proposals had to be submitted by one or several undertakings, acting jointly. Proposals submitted by natural persons were not eligible.
(a) the soundness and technical adequacy of the approach. Proposals had to include details on how the proposed technical solutions were suitable for achieving the project's objectives 7 .
(b) maturity, defined as reaching the investment stage, which includes exploration and development of storage options, and incurring substantial investment-related expenditure for the project by the end of 2010. The work plan needed to provide sufficient evidence that the expenditure could be made by the end of 2010.
(c) the soundness of the financial package for the full investment phase of the project. A cost plan listing all investment-related expenditure for the project needed to be provided. Applicants needed to commit to making their own financial contribution to the incremental costs of CCS and identify other financing sources in case their own resources and EEPR funding together was insufficient to fully finance the project
(d) identification of all necessary permits required for the construction and operation of the project at the proposed site(s) and having a strategy to secure those permits. Applicants had to provide evidence that all necessary permits had already been obtained or would be obtained shortly to allow for all planned expenditures in 2010.
Award criteria, scoring
In assessing the proposals received under the call for proposals, the Commission was to apply the award criteria mentioned below. Each submission was assessed against the applicable criteria independently, giving marks and providing comments. Proposals were evaluated on a points scale from 0 to 100 as follows:
(a) proposals had to show that there were no sufficient other sources of financing available that would allow them to go ahead with the initial phase of the action in the period of 2009/2010. (Points 35/100)
(b) requested funding per tonne of CO 2 to be abated in the first 5 years of operation. A detailed calculation of the expected costs per tonne of CO 2 abated needed to be provided. (Points 15/100)
(c) complexity of the project and level of innovation of the overall installation including other accompanying research activities as well as the commitment demonstrated by the beneficiaries to diffuse the results of the technological advances made by the project to other European operators. This had to be compatible with Union law and in particular with the objectives and structures outlined in the Strategic Energy Technology Plan for Europe. (Points 15/100)
(d) soundness and adequacy of the management plan. The detailed management and work plan was to provide evidence that all components of the proposal (base installation, CO 2 capture, transport and storage) would be in place and that the project would be fully operational by the end of 2015, demonstrating the full chain from CO 2 capture to storage. (Points 35/100)
The EEPR financial aid was to contribute to project-related expenditure for the implementation of the projects.
The EEPR support was not to exceed 50% of the eligible costs in the case of the g as and electricity infrastructure and offshore wind energy projects and 80% in the case of the carbon capture and storage projects. In all cases EEPR financial assistance was not to exceed the limits of the envisaged Union contribution laid down in the Annex to the EEPR Regulation, as follows:
Offshore wind energy projects (Annex B of the EEPR Regulation)
Carbon capture and storage projects (Annex C of the EEPR Regulation)
It was provided in the Regulation that the EEPR assistance would be granted on the basis of Commission decisions notified to the beneficiaries concerned (in the case of g as and electricity infrastructure projects) and on the basis of grant agreements (in the case of the offshore wind energy and the carbon capture and storage projects) on condition that no Union financial aid was to be awarded to actions receiving funds from other sources of Union financing.
3. Key elements of the EEPR Call
During the period for submission of proposals, the Commission made available to the potential applicants all the relevant information for the Call on an EEPR dedicated website on the “europa.eu” portal site of the European Union. The website was updated regularly with replies to questions submitted by potential applicants (more than 160 questions and answers of general interest were published on the EEPR website). Additionally, an Info Day for project promoters took place on 3 June 2009.
Overall, the Call was met with a very positive response from the industry: a total of 87 proposals were submitted, respectively 46 for the Interconnections, 29 for Offshore Wind Energy and 12 for Carbon Capture and Storage. All the proposals submitted were declared as compliant with the formal requirements as specified in the Call for proposals. Evaluation exercises for each sub-programme were organised independently, as presented below for offshore wind as well as carbon capture and storage projects.
Offshore wind energy projects
The total budget as foreseen in the EEPR Regulation for the OWE sub-programme amounted to € 565 million. A total of 29 proposals had been received and the sum of the requested Union financial support amounted to €1.669 billion.
The evaluation was carried out in the Commission's premises in Brussels by an Evaluation Committee composed of Commission's internal experts.
Each proposal was assessed against the applicable award criteria independently.
One proposal did not meet the geographic eligibility criterion and was not further evaluated.
The Committee agreed on a marking scheme in order to ensure fairness and consistency in the evaluation. The final ranking was made per section where the proposals were listed in descending order of points. The Committee recommended that contract negotiations were started with the highest-ranked proposals per section within the limits of the available budget. Furthermore, a reserve list has been constituted with the next best proposals in sections 1.2. and 2.1. The proposals from this list might be selected for the award of a Union grant if one of the highest-ranked selected proposals above failed to take up the grant. As a result, 9 proposals out of 29 had been recommended for EEPR funding and a further five had been included in the reserve list.
Further details on the results of the OWE evaluation are given in Chapter 4 of this publication.
Carbon capture and storage projects
The total budget as foreseen in the EEPR Regulation for the CCS sub-programme amounted to €1.050 billion. A total of 12 proposals were submitted. The aggregate sum of the requested Union support amounted to €1.770 billion. 11 out of the 12 proposals met the eligibility criteria as laid down in the Call for proposals 9 and in the EEPR Regulation. One proposal did not meet the eligibility requirements as it did not implement a project listed in the Annex, Part C of the EEPR Regulation. Therefore, that proposal was not further evaluated.
The evaluation was carried out in the Commission's premises in Brussels by an Evaluation Committee composed of Commission's internal experts and including experts from the European Investment Bank acting as observers. The Evaluation Committee assessed the proposals against the eligibility, selection and award criteria. Following that assessment, the Committee drew up a list of proposals for funding, ranked in descending order of points. On the basis of the established ranking, the six highest-ranked proposals were recommended for EEPR funding, whereas the next four proposals on the list were included in a reserve list. The proposals from the reserve list might be selected for the award of a Union grant if one of the 6 selected proposals above failed to take up the grant. The so established lists underwent an Inter-service consultation with other relevant services of the Commission, which expressed their agreement to the results of the evaluation.
Further details on the results of the CCS evaluation are given in the following Chapter.
4. EEPR funding – OWE and CCS
Offshore wind energy projects
The below table presents the OWE project proposals which were successful or put on reserve list. The corresponding map, included in Chapter 7 of this publication, depicts the proposals selected for funding as well as the maximum EEPR grant following the EC Decision on the award of grants.
Carbon capture and storage projects
The tables below present, respectively, the CCS project proposals which were successful, and the proposals included in the reserve list. The corresponding map in Chapter 7 of this publication depicts the proposals selected for funding as well as the amount of grant requested by the successful applicants.
CCS project proposals selected for the EEPR funding
CCS project proposals on the reserve list for EEPR funding
5. Timeline implementation EEPR Programme
Even though the evaluation of the proposals received under the EEPR Call started in parallel for all three sub-programmes (immediately after receiving the applications), due to project specific reasons the evaluation process appeared to be less advanced for the gas and electricity infrastructure stream of the EEPR. For the offshore wind and carbon capture and storage projects the evaluation was completed in September, whereas for the gas and electricity infrastructure projects the evaluation committee finalised its work on 23 November 2009.
For the OWE and CCS proposals, further to the approval of the evaluation results by the FP7 Programme Committee on 16 October, the Commission invited the beneficiaries of the selected projects to open negotiations. Negotiations with the first projects are finalised by December 2009 and the first grant agreements will be signed by the end of December 2009.
The Indicative Action Plan, for the OWE&CCS projects, listing the concrete steps of their implementation are presented in the table below.
Monitoring, evaluation and reporting
In line with the provisions of the EEPR Regulation 11 , the Commission will closely monitor the implementation of the Regulation and will present each year, on presentation of the preliminary draft budget, a report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the implementation of the EEPR programme. The first such report will be presented in spring 2010. At that stage, it is expected to have a clearer picture of the situation in terms of risks in implementing the projects or in terms of budget absorption. Based on this, it will be decided what follow-up steps and appropriate measures will be considered in order to support the full implementation of the EEPR Regulation.
The Commission shall also carry out an evaluation of the EEPR by the end of 2011; in particular, to assess the contribution of the programme to the effective use made of the appropriations. The Evaluation report on the results achieved by the EEPR will be presented to the European Parliament, the Council, The European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.
6. Related documents; further reading
Website of the European Commission set up for the launch of the Call
General presentation on EEPR
Official Journal publication of the call
Official Journal publication of the Regulation (EC) No 663/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a programme to aid economic recovery by granting Union financial assistance to projects in the field of energy [OJ L200 of 31 July 2009]
7. Geographical presentation of the selected proposals
The two maps below depict the offshore wind and carbon capture and storage project proposals received for the EEPR Call which are recommended for EEPR funding. The amount of grant requested by the successful applicants is also presented.
The European Energy Programme for Recovery foresees Union financial assistance to energy projects in the fields of carbon capture and storage, offshore wind energy and gas and electricity infrastructure. The procedures for the infrastructure projects are still ongoing. The decision is expected to be taken in February 2010. This memo only presents the various steps that led to the Commission Decision on awarding grants for projects in the field of offshore wind energy and carbon capture and storage.
Communication from the Commission to the European Council ‘A European Economic Recovery Plan’ COM(2008) 800
EEPR Regulation (EC) N°663/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a programme to aid economic recovery by granting Union financial assistance to projects in the field of energy (OJ N° L200/2009 of 31.7.2009)
see Annex 5, section 3.2 of the application form for OWE in Annex 3 of the call for proposals
see Annex 5, section 1.2.5 of the application form for OWE in Annex 3 of the call for proposals
Annex 3 of the application form for OWE in Annex 3 of the call for proposals
for details see chapter 1.2 in annex 5 of application forms in Annex 4 of the call for proposals
Including one proposal which did not pass the eligibility criteria (as it was not implementing a project listed in part B of the annex of the EEPR Regulation) and was not further evaluated under the selection and award criteria
This proposal did not pass the eligibility criteria as it was not implementing a project listed in part C of the annex of the EEPR Regulation and was not further evaluated under the selection and award criteria
Article 28 of the EEPR Regulation