100% renewable targets will require power storage to manage flows on the net
Electrolysers utilise these intermittent power flows to produce H2 gas from water
H2 gas can be stored in large quantities underground and transported via existing gas pipelines
H2 vehicles recharge faster and are more durable than battery powered transport
Growing H2 demand in industrial processes will reduce costs and increase supply

On 1st July 2011, the Commission launched a new European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEE-F) as part of the European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR).

It will allocate around EUR 146 million from the EEPR (3.7% of the total EEPR envelope) towards a new financial facility dedicated to projects in energy efficiency and renewable energies. This EU contribution comes from funds mobilised for the EEPR in 2009 which could not immediately be allocated to projects in the sectors of infrastructure, off-shore wind and carbon capture and storage. The setting up of the fund follows an agreement between the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament in December 2010 to a European Commission proposal.

The EEE-F will invest in energy saving, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, particularly in urban settings, achieving at least 20% energy saving or GHG/CO2 emission reduction.

The fund will offer a wide range of financial products such as senior and junior loans, guarantees or equity participation to local, regional and (where justified) national public authorities to promote sustainable energy investments.

At its launch the initial fund volume will be EUR 265 million : in addition to the EU contribution (EUR 125 million), the European Investment Bank will invest EUR 75 million, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA (CDP, Italy) EUR 60 million and the designated investment manager (Deutsche Bank) EUR 5 million. Other financial institutions at Member State level have been invited and could also join the fund later. In addition private sector investors are expected to leverage the public sector contribution. The final size of the fund will depend on additional investors (public but also private) and the eventual investment portfolio.

In addition, about EUR 20 million of the EU funding will be made available as grants for project development services (technical assistance) related to technical and financial preparation of projects.

For more information see: EC EEE-F