EU Commits Over €65 Million to Boost Innovative Clean Tech Projects

The European Commission has earmarked more than €65 million in project support for 17 pioneering small-scale clean tech projects under the EU Innovation Fund. These funds aim to propel breakthrough technologies into the market, focusing on energy-intensive industries, renewable energy, and energy storage. The projects span diverse sectors, emphasizing the manufacturing of components for renewable energy, as well as advancements in glass, ceramics, construction materials, energy storage, solar energy, iron and steel, refineries, chemicals, cement, lime, and hydrogen.

The selected projects are projected to prevent over 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions in their initial decade of operation, aligning with Europe’s clean energy transition and decarbonization goals. The Innovation Fund’s scope now extends to 24 countries, with Latvia and Hungary receiving support for the first time.

Selected Projects Breakdown:

Energy-intensive Industries: Eight projects securing €32.6 million

  • Three projects in glass, ceramics, and construction materials (Italy)
  • One refinery project and one in cement and lime (Spain)
  • One hydrogen project (Croatia)
  • One iron and steel project and one in the chemical sector (Italy)

Energy Storage: Two projects receiving €8.4 million

  • One project in France for a multi-energy smart grid
  • One project in Denmark on thermal energy storage

Renewable Energy: Seven projects securing €24.4 million

  • Three projects on components manufacturing for renewables production (France, Hungary, Latvia)
  • Two solar energy projects (France, Greece)
  • Two projects on using renewable energy for maritime and flexoprinting industries (Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway)

Each of the 17 projects will receive grants ranging from €1.6 to €4.5 million, sourced from EU Emissions Trading System revenues. One-third of the beneficiaries are small and medium-sized enterprises. Additionally, four other promising projects are under consideration for project development assistance by the European Investment Bank.

In total, 72 proposals were submitted, with 48 deemed eligible and admissible. The Innovation Fund aims to use its estimated €40 billion revenue from the EU Emissions Trading System (2020-2030) to incentivize investments in cutting-edge low-carbon and net-zero technologies.

The selected projects will now progress to individual grant agreement preparations with the European Climate, Infrastructure, and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), anticipating finalization in Q2 2024. This marks the conclusion of the last call for small-scale proposals with total investment costs up to €7.5 million.

On November 23, 2023, the Commission launched two new calls for projects, including the pilot auction under the European Hydrogen Bank and another with a €4 billion budget for net-zero technologies.