EU Allocates Over $4 Billion to Propel Large-Scale Clean Tech Projects

The projects are expected to avoid 221 mt of CO2 emissions during the first decade of operation


The European Commission has announced the allocation of over €3.6 billion (~$4 billion) from the Innovation Fund for 41 large-scale clean tech projects across Europe.

The Innovation Fund, financed by revenues from the auctioning of allowances from the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), is among the world’s largest funding programs for the deployment of net-zero and innovative technologies.

With an estimated revenue of €40 billion (~$44.9 billion) until 2030, the fund aims to support businesses investing in clean energy and accelerate the energy transition to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian fossil fuel imports.

The clean tech projects span a wide range of industries, including cement, steel, advanced biofuels, sustainable aviation fuels, wind and solar energy, and renewable hydrogen and its derivatives.

By greening sectors that are traditionally challenging to decarbonize, the initiative aims to contribute significantly to the transformation of the European economy.

Project Details and Impact

The selected projects, located in 15 EU states and Norway, will all be operational by 2030 and are projected to collectively avoid approximately 221 million tonnes of CO2 emissions during their first decade of operation.

The 41 projects were chosen based on their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, level of innovation, operational and financial maturity, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.

The projects were classified into four categories: general decarbonization, industry electrification and hydrogen, clean tech manufacturing, and mid-sized pilots.

In the general decarbonization category, eight projects worth €1.4 billion (~$1.5 billion) have been awarded funding. These include three refinery projects and five projects in the cement and lime sector, located in Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden.

The industry electrification and hydrogen category comprises 13 projects valued at €1.2 billion (~$1.3 billion). Six projects focus on renewable hydrogen production, while the remaining seven involve the utilization of hydrogen in various sectors. The projects in this category will take place in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Norway.

Eleven projects in the clean tech manufacturing category, with a total budget of €800 million (~$898.3 million), were approved.

This group includes four projects related to electrolyzer manufacturing, four projects centered around batteries (including recycling), and three projects focused on solar panels and modules. These projects will be implemented in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Spain, Sweden, and Norway.

The mid-sized pilot category comprises nine projects worth €250 million (~$280 million) and encompasses two projects related to wind energy, two projects in the ocean energy sector, two projects involving chemicals, and projects in the glass sector, carbon capture, and e-fuels. These projects will be carried out in Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Norway.

The commission said it plans to launch the next call for proposals for large-scale projects under the Innovation Fund, with an increased budget of €4 billion (~$4.4 billion), by the end of the year.

Recently, the EIB Group approved raising the funding volume for clean energy projects developed under the EU’s REPowerEU and Green Deal Industrial Plan by 50% to €45 billion (~$50.28 billion).

In March this year, the European Parliament and the Council agreed to raise the EU’s binding renewable target to a minimum of 42.5% by 2030, up from 32%.