The EU Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programs for demonstrating innovative low-carbon technologies and supports across all Member States highly innovative technologies and industrial solutions for decarbonizing Europe. The focus is on the first industrial implementation of innovative low-carbon technologies that are not yet commercially available. The EU Innovation Fund will invest over EUR 1.1 billion in seven large-scale innovative projects in Belgium, Italy, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. They have been selected out of more than 300 applications.
The selected projects include:
- a French carbon capture and storage (CCS) project for a cement plant (the CO2 will in part be stored geologically in the North Sea and in part integrated into concrete),
- a CCS value chain at the Port of Antwerp, Belgium, including the production of hydrogen and chemicals (it will avoid ca. 14.2 Mt CO2 over the first ten years of operation),
- an industrial-scale pilot to manufacture innovative and high-quality bifacial heterojunction (B-HJT) photovoltaic (PV) cells in a factory in Catania, Italy,
- a full-scale bioenergy CCS facility in Sweden (combining CO2 capture with heat recovery will make the process more efficient),
- a Spanish project that will convert non-recyclable municipal solid waste in El Morell to methanol,
- a project that aims to eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from steel production by replacing coal-based blast furnaces with direct hydrogen-based reduction technology in Gallivare and Oxelosund, both Sweden, and
- a demonstration project that will produce clean hydrogen at a refinery in Porvoo, Finland, with CCS.
For the last-mentioned project, Neste will receive a grant of EUR 88 million to quickly and efficiently reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its refinery. The project, which is currently in the feasibility phase, will demonstrate two ways of producing clean hydrogen at the refinery, through renewable energy and by capturing CO2 and permanently storing it in the North Sea. The project aims to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 4 million tons in the first ten years of operation. Neste is also striving to put together a network of leading European technology suppliers and R&D institutes to lay the foundation for a world-class European hub for renewable hydrogen and CO2 utilization.
The selected projects will now prepare individual grant agreements with the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency, the body implementing the fund. These are expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2022, allowing the European Commission to adopt the corresponding grant award decision and start distributing the grants.
- Neste Oyj, Espoo, Finland
- EU Innovation Fund
- EU invests over €1 billion in innovative projects to decarbonise the economy, European Commission
- List of Proposals Pre-Selected for a Grant, European Commission (PDF)