The European Commission launched the first call for proposals on November 9 of NER300, that will provide substantial financial support for at least eight projects involving carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies and at least 34 projects involving innovative renewable energy technologies.  The European Investment Bank (EIB) is collaborating with the Commission in the implementation of the programme. Companies interested in making proposals have 3 months to submit bids at national level.

Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: “The NER300 is a good example that together, EU 27 can do more than we can individually. Through using revenues from selling of CO2 allowances, around €4.5 billion will be available for innovative renewable energy technologies and CCS. With project sponsors and Member States contributions this will sum up to €9 billion. The NER300 initiative will act as a catalyst for the demonstration of new low carbon technologies on a commercial scale. These and other green technologies are an increasingly important source of future economic growth and jobs. They will also help us meet our ambitious climate targets for 2020 and beyond

The first call for proposals signals the start of implementation of the NER300 initiative. The initiative is so named because it will be funded from the sale of 300 million emission allowances in the New Entrants Reserve (NER) of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). At current market prices for emission allowances, the initiative is worth around €4.5 billion, making it the biggest such programme in the world.

Funding is targeted to demonstration projects involving CCS and innovative renewable energy technologies. At least one project, and a maximum of three, will be funded per Member State. Further details of the types of technologies to be funded are given in the Annex.

The programme will leverage investments of more than €9 billion as the NER300 initiative will fund up to 50% of the construction and operation costs of the CCS and renewables projects. Project sponsors and Member States will provide the rest of the funding. NER300 funding can be combined with financing from other EU instruments, including the Structural and Cohesion Funds and the European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR). Under the NER300 decision, the EIB is responsible for selling the 300 million allowances and managing and disbursing the proceeds. While details, including the starting date of the sales, are not fixed yet, it is expected that all NER300 allowances will be sold before the start of the third trading period of the EU ETS in January 2013. The Call closes on February 9, 2011. More information on the NER300 website.