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Brussels, 11 March 2011
Climate action: European businesses show big appetite for investing in low carbon technologies
More than 150 proposals for large-scale demonstration projects involving innovative renewable energy and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies have been submitted under the EU's "NER 300" programme, the world's largest demonstration programme for such technologies. According to reports provided to the European Commission by 25 EU Member States, applications for 22 CCS projects and 131 projects involving innovative renewable energy technologies were received by the 9 February deadline for responses to the first call for proposals.
NER 300 Demonstration Programme
The NER 300 programme aims to fund at least 8 carbon capture and storage (CCS) and at least 34 innovative renewable energy demonstration projects. The programme is so named because it will be funded from the sale of 300 million emission allowances held in the New Entrants Reserve (NER) of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). At the current carbon price, these allowances are worth €4-5 billion, but as project sponsors must also bring funding it is expected to leverage around the same amount in addition from private or other sources.
A first call for proposals was launched in November 2010. Project sponsors had to submit their funding applications to their respective Member State authorities by 9 February.
The many project applications received are yet to be evaluated. Member States now have until 9 May to check the eligibility of the projects submitted and to submit the projects they wish to support to the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB will then carry out financial and technical due diligence assessment, rank the projects, and make recommendations for award decisions to the Commission.
Based on these recommendations, the Commission will consult the EU Climate Change Committee, in which all Member States are represented, re-confirm that Member States still support the projects they recommended, and prepare and issue award decisions.
The EIB will also sell the allowances, manage the revenues and hand them over to the Member States for disbursement to the projects. At least one project, up to a maximum of three, will be funded per Member State.
Summary of Member State reports
The table below summarises the information provided by 25 Member States1 in their reports, for which the deadline was 9 March. As the final number and technology spread of proposals may still change, and in order not to influence the competitive process in the run-up to the deadline for submission of proposals to the EIB, the information has been collected and is presented at an aggregate level.
2050 Roadmap for a competitive low-carbon economy:
Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom