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Innovation Fund launched €1B for innovative clean technologies

Innovation Fund: financing innovative clean technologies

The Innovation Fund is a key funding instrument for meeting the commitments of the entire EU economy under the Paris Agreement and EU’s goal of becoming a climate-neutral Europe by 2050.

It will focus on highly innovative technologies and large European value-added projects, which can deliver significant GHG emission reductions. It will boost competitiveness by empowering EU companies aiming to become world leaders in technology.

In the first phase, projects will be assessed on the basis of their degree of technological innovation, avoided greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the maturity of the project.

Planned calendar of the first call

Open from 7th July 2020

Deadline:   29 October 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time

2nd stage Deadline:   23 June 2021 17:00:00 Brussels time

Budget of the 1ST CALL: 1 000 000 000 € (1 billion €)

The first of the calls is published, for projects with a CAPEX of more than 7.5 million euros, with proposals in two phases. The deadline for submission of the first phase is scheduled for the end of October this year.

For smaller projects, there will be a specific call launched in late 2020 or early 2021.

Grant of 60% of the relevant costs

It is noteworthy that the Innovation Fund subsidises 60% of the relevant costs. In most cases, the calculation of relevant costs proposed by the Innovation Fund is based on the “Levelized Cost of Product” and its comparison with the corresponding reference.

In this sense, at ZABALA we have an advantage associated with experience because the Levelized Cost of Energy or the Levelized Cost of Storage is the usual method in any energy or storage project. At ZABALA we have participated in the development of numerous proposals for Horizon2020 in the renewable energy sectors (wind and solar), hydrogen and energy storage, which will allow us to contribute to the green transition in Europe with products and services that are close to the market. In fact, the three most recent cases are Innovation Actions (close to the market) with a total budget of more than 45 million euros. Of these, around 40 million euros will be funded by the European Commission.

Innovation Fund, the key to the Green Deal

Since 15 June, INEA has been managing the Innovation Fund, the successor to the NER 300 programme, which is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies to support these technologies in energy-intensive industries. The funds for the Innovation Fund come from the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and over the duration of the programme 10 billion euros is expected to be dedicated.

This is a great opportunity for both the energy sector and industrial sectors such as steel, chemicals, paper, cement, ceramics, and other energy-intensive industries even if they are in other sectors. Therefore, the Innovation Fund is first and foremost aimed at companies.

25% of the EU budget for climate

The Commission has proposed at least 25% of the EU budget for climate change actions in the next multiannual financial framework. A significant part of this will be spent through the EFC, Horizon Europe and LIFE. In this respect, INEA will play an essential role in supporting climate priorities that are high on the European Commission’s agenda. This initial expansion will enable the new Agency to play an important role in achieving Europe’s climate commitments.

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