Big Clean Energy Projects Seek Big EU Funding

More than 150 proposals for large scale renewable energy and carbon capture demonstration projects were submitted recently to a special European Union (EU) initiative called the NER 300 Program. According to the EU, the demonstration program is the largest of its kind in the world, with 25 member states sending to the European Commission the first round of proposals by the February 9th cutoff.

The program is named as such because the money derived for the projects 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. Projects won’t be funded entirely by the NER 300 Program, however, and are expected to find private investment sources.

North Seas wind power plant, European supergrid

image via Vattenfall

Of the over 150 proposals submitted by various countries in the EU, 131 were renewable energy projects and 22 were carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. Competition is tight as the NER 300 Program is only looking to fund eight CCS programs and 34 renewable energy demonstration projects. At least one project will be awarded to each member of the 25 Member States involved in the NER 300 Program, but no more than three.

The next step is for each member state to decide what projects they want to be funded, and send those proposals to the European Investment Bank (EIB) by May 9th. The EIB will rank the projects and provide a recommendation to the European Commission, who will consult the EU Climate Change Committee before finally allowing the EIB to sell allowances and disburse funds. Full details of the program are available on the European Commission Climate Action website.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.