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Emissions Revenues Contribute to €1.2 Billion in New EU Renewable Energy Grants

18 December 2012: The European Commission has awarded over €1.2 billion in grants to 23 renewable energy projects covering a range of technologies, including: bioenergy; concentrated solar power; geothermal power; wind; ocean energy and smart grids for distributed renewable energy management.

The funded projects, which will be hosted in 16 EU Member States, were selected from the first call for proposals for the New Entrance Reserve 300 (NER300) funding programme, a financing instrument co-financed by the sale of 200 million emission allowances from polluters participating in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), and managed jointly by the European Commission, European Investment Bank and Member States. Connie Hedegaard, EU Climate Action Commissioner, said the NER300 programme is "a 'Robin Hood' mechanism that makes polluters pay for large-scale demonstration of new low-carbon technologies. The €1.2 billion of grants – paid by the polluters - will leverage a further €2 billion of private investment in the 23 selected low-carbon demonstration projects."

The Commission estimates that the 23 projects will together increase the annual renewable energy production in Europe by the equivalent of the annual fuel consumption of more than a million passenger cars. According to the Commission, the projects will demonstrate technologies that will result in substantially increased energy production from renewable sources across the EU.

Projects were selected based on factors such as: cost-effective use of funding; innovative technology that can be replicated on a large scale; and a reasonable expectation that the project would be up and running by the end of 2016. The European Commission plans to launch a second call for proposals soon. [Press Release] [Questions & Answers Memo]