18 new cleantech projects to receive €173 million in funding through the Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund has funded 15 small-scale and 3 large-scale projects in the last call launched on November 23, 2023. Applications closed on April 9, 2024 and results were published in June 2024. 

The awarded projects have the potential to advance Europe’s transition to sustainable energy and decarbonization. The 15 small-scale initiatives will cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent over their first ten years of operation, while the three large-scale projects aim to cut emissions by up to 2.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

The total funding provided amounts to €173M. The funding aims to support European businesses that bring cutting-edge innovations to the market for energy-intensive sectors, renewable energy, and energy storage: 

  • The EU funding for the projects will range from €1.6 million to €4.5 million for small-scale initiatives and from €13 to €62 million for large-scale initiatives.
  • The geographical focus will spread across 24 countries, being Latvia and Hungary among them for the first time.
  • 42% of the small-scale projects beneficiaries (9 out of 21) and 25% of the large-scale projects (1 out of 4) are SMEs.
  • Awarded projects belong to the areas of energy storage, solar energy, renewables, glass, ceramics, construction materials, iron and steel, refineries, chemicals, cement and lime, and hydrogen. Special mention to the areas of manufacturing of components for renewable energy and hydrogen production.

Fourth IF23 call: general information

Investments are made through the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), a pillar of the EU’s climate change strategy and its main instrument for efficiently cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Projects are evaluated according to five criteria:

  • degree of innovation, 
  • potential for greenhouse gas avoidance, 
  • project maturity, 
  • scalability, 
  • cost efficiency.

The fourth IF23 call covered five topics:

  • General decarbonisation (large-scale): €1.7 billion for projects with CAPEX (capital expenditure) above €100 million, 
  • General decarbonisation (medium-scale): €500 million for projects with CAPEX between €20 million and €100 million,
  • General decarbonisation (small-scale): €200 million for projects with CAPEX between €2.5 million and €20 million,
  • Cleantech manufacturing: €1.4 billion for projects with CAPEX above €2.5 million focusing on component manufacturing for renewable energy, energy storage, heat pumps and hydrogen production,
  • Pilot: €200 million for projects with CAPEX above €2.5 million focusing on deep decarbonization.

Background: Previous calls

Small-scale projects

The first call for small-scale projects received a total of 232 applications, where only 32 of them were successful (roughly 14% success rate). The initial funding amounted to €100 million.

The second call for small-scale projects received 66 applications, and 16 of them obtained a successfully signed agreement (24% success rate), with a total funding worth €62 million. Finally, the third small-scale call received 72 applications with €100 million available to fund cleantech projects. 17 projects received funding (23% success rate). Most of the projects belonged to the areas of manufacturing of components for renewable energy, and glass, ceramics, and construction materials. 

Large-scale projects

The first call for large-scale projects received 311 applications, and 7 of them received funding (2,25% success rate). The budget amounted to €1B.

The second call received 139 applications (44% less compared to the first call), where 17 of them signed an agreement (12% success rate, a considerable increase compared to the previous call). The budget amounted to €1.8 billion. The third call for large-scale projects received 239 applications, 41 of which were successful (17% success rate). More than €3.6 billion were deployed in budget (an increase by 50% compared to the previous call).

Statistics of the IF23 Fourth Call Results

From 337 applications received in the fourth call, 18 of them were successful (5,34% success rate). They belonged to different categories, such as energy storage, renewable energy, mobility and energy-intensive industries.

Results of the small-scale projects call show that the most awarded area has been manufacturing components (3 out of 15 projects awarded, 20% success rate), followed by energy storage, solar energy and renewable energy (2 projects each, 13% success rate).

Most awarded areas in the June 2024 call of the Innovation Fund

Figure 1. Most awarded areas

Regarding the awarded projects per country, Italy and France have been the ones with the highest number of winners (3 projects each, 20%), followed by Spain (2 projects, 13%):

Most awarded projects per country in the June 2024 call of the Innovation Fund

Figure 2. Awarded projects per country

The following table shows the small-scale projects awarded in the latest call: 

Project Type of project Category Sector Location Technology pathways
HITeUP: Heat up Isover Transition to Electric Under Production2022-Small ScaleEnergy-intensive industriesGlass, ceramics & construction material​ItalyElectrifiction
S2H2​: Sludge-to-Hydrogen for a Circular Economy2022-Small ScaleHydrogen, Renewable Energy, Recycling/reuseHydrogenCroatiaRenewable Hydrogen production from biological waste
BOOST: Back-to-MonOmer recycling of polymeric materialS using molten meTals2022-Small ScaleEnergy-intensive industriesChemicalsItalyRecycling
RoboticRepair​: Robotic Wind Turbine Blade Repair System2022-Small ScaleRenewable energyManufacturing of components for production of renewable energy or energy storageLatviaWind energy maintenance
EMETHANOLxWSolution: Next Generation tanker vessel powered by e-methanol and wind assisted propulsion2022-Small ScaleRenewable energyUse of renewable energy outside Annex ISweden, Finland, NorwayE-methanol and wind assisted propulsion for maritime
SHEEFT​: Solar HEliup Energy for Flat roofTop2022-Small ScaleRenewable energyManufacturing of components for production of renewable energy or energy storageFrancePhotovoltaic panels
SUNBREWED: Solar eNergy for the BREWEry inDustry ​2022-Small ScaleRenewable energySolar energyGreeceSolar thermal for industry
CUSTARD​: carbon Capture and Use at a STeel plant with an Advanced solution to Reach Decarbonisation2022-Small ScaleEnergy-intensive industriesIron & SteelItalyCarbon capture and utilisation
SUNAGRI Carbon Farm: Dynamic Agrivoltaic for Farm decarbonization and agriculture sustainability2022-Small ScaleRenewable energySolar energyFrancePhotovoltaic panels in agriculture
GEN2HU: GENERON 2.0 Integrated Solar Roof Tile2022-Small ScaleRenewable energyManufacturing of components for production of renewable energy or energy storageHungaryBuilding integrated photovoltaics (BIPV)
LuGaZ: Local manUre and agri-food waste treatment for bioGAs and biofertiliZers production from Zero waste and circular economy perspective2022-Small ScaleEnergy-intensive industriesRefineriesSpainBio-energy: biogas and biofertilisers
Solvent2Energ2022-Small ScaleOtherUse of renewable energy outside Annex I​NetherlandsBio-energy
RockStore: accessible and cost-effective thermal energy storage2022-Small ScaleEnergy storageOther energy storageDenmarkThermal energy storage
MITIGAT​: MakIng susTaInable enerGy from heAT saving2022-Small ScaleEnergy storageOther energy storageFranceSmart grid
ERACLITUS​: Expanding the Range of Clinker Substitutes. Designing a Sustainable Future for Cement Sector2022-Small ScaleEnergy-intensive industriesCement & LimeSpainSubstitute products

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