Wind industry workshop with the European Commission on the Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund is a new European funding programme that will run from 2020 to 2030. The programme is part of the new Emission Trading Schema and as such the budget is based on the value of carbon emission allowances. It could amount to €10 billion. It will be one of the key funding instruments for delivering the EU’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.

The Innovation Fund will support investments in renewable energy, energy storage, carbon capture storage and use, and decarbonisation of energy intensive industries. Its scope spans from pilot projects to pre-commercial technologies, and to scale-up commercial projects. It will focus on increasing European competitiveness in green technologies. More info.

At the 3 July workshop, the wind energy industry identified 4 technology areas where the support from the Innovation Fund would add the most value. These are: floating offshore wind; the new generation of wind turbines and hybrid power plants; electrification (including power-to-X); and rotor blade recycling.

Participants also provided the European Commission with 5 principles for future project calls:

  • Align with the wind industry’s recommendations from strategic research and innovation agenda (SRIA);
  • Address the so-called “valley-of-death” in financing (the period between demonstration and final investment decision);
  • Provide fit-for-purpose upfront investment as early as possibly in the project;
  • Include thresholds for funding; and
  • Focus on replicable projects that boost industrial competitiveness.

“Wind energy has been the most successful sector in funding coming from the EU ETS. The NER 300 programme has supported 8 wind energy projects. We want that to increase with the Innovation Fund. Wind energy is the most cost-efficient investment for EU funding. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions while boosting technological leadership and industrialisation for Europe.” Iván Pineda, Director of Public Affairs WindEurope

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