The European Commission (EC) announced a new investment program worth over €10 billion for low-carbon technologies in several sectors to boost global competitiveness on Tuesday.
The investment program, called the Innovation Fund, aims to create financial incentives for companies and public authorities to invest in the next generation of low-carbon technologies and to give EU companies a first-mover advantage to become global technology leaders, the EC said.
The Innovation Fund expands the current EU program, the NER300 that supports the testing of carbon capture and storage and renewable energy technologies to also cover energy storage and energy-intensive industries. According to the EC, the new Innovation Fund is better tailored to promote innovation through improved and simplified governance.
The EC said the fund has a range of benefits including the creation of local green jobs and employment growth, to energy-efficient homes with reduced energy bills, cleaner air, more efficient public transport systems in cities, and secure supplies of energy and other resources.
The first call for proposals under the Innovation Fund will be launched in 2020, the Commission noted, which will be followed by regular calls until 2030.
The fund will pool together resources, the amount of which will depend on carbon pricing. Any unspent revenues from the Innovation Fund's predecessor, the NER 300 program, will also be added to the Innovation Fund, which is expected to result in around revenue of €10 billion in total.
"At least 450 million allowances from the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) Directive will be sold on the carbon market in the period 2020-2030, the Commission explained, adding that revenues of these sales depend on the carbon price, which is currently around €20 (TL120) per ton.
"It will offer grants to cover up to 60 percent of the additional capital and operational costs linked to innovation for the selected projects, disbursing the money in a flexible way based on the needs of individual projects," the EC said.
By Ebru Sengul