Innovation Fund call: €1.1B allocated to tackle climate transition

Climate and environment are matters of paramount importance nowadays and ambitious initiatives are needed to move towards a more sustainable future and to tackle the transition to a climate neutrality.

Innovation Fund

The European Commission is acting upon and has recently granted  €1.1 billion to boost tech-based projects that contribute to climate transition.

The funding has been awarded to seven large-scale projects through the EU Innovation Fund, an instrument funded through the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS). In the first ten years, these projects will target the reduction of emissions by over 76 Mt of CO2eq, focusing on core technologies such as hydrogen, steel, and chemicals, among many others.

The aims of this investment are threefold: strengthen the European industry’s position in regard to cleantech, create jobs, and accelerate the green transition by investing in the decarbonization and resilience of the European economy.

Results of the call

The Innovation Fund (IF) has gathered several proposals intending to implement one or several of the Fund’s technological pathways. The main technological pathways are covered in the eligible proposals while the pre-selected proposals have the potential needed to reduce emissions in the IF sectors and beyond.

Figure 1. Proposals per technological pathways for climate mitigation

The Innovation Fund Large-Scale Call is open to projects in all EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. The following image shows the geographical distribution of pre-selected proposals and proposals invited for project development assistance (PDA).
The seven pre-selected proposals are located in Belgium, Finland, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and Norway. Proposals invited for PDA are located in Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Spain, with some projects located in more than one country.
Figure 2. Proposals per country.

Most projects belong to the Hydrogen sector, together with the Intra-day electricity storage sector and Other energy storage sector. However, there are no pre-selected nor PDA proposals regarding the Hydro/Ocean energy sector and the Geothermal sector.

Figure 3. Proposals per sector.

List of proposals

The following table shows the full list of proposals pre-selected for a grant:

Project acronym and
proposal title
and other
Project description
Kairos-at-C, Building
strong momentum for
massive decarbonisation
in the EU through a
unique end to end
CCS project
Air Liquide
Large Industry

Antwerpen NV
Kairos@C will develop a complete carbon, capture and storage (CCS) value chain that will
avoid ca. 14.2 Mt CO2 over the first 10 years of operation. Kairos@C will initiate a crossborder CCS value chain and kick-start the Antwerp@C project, which is developing a
multi-modal transport infrastructure for CO2 in the port of Antwerp.
Kairos@C will deploy pioneering technologies in each building block of the CCS value
• The large-scale CO2 capture layout will be a first-of-its-kind multi-feed scheme,
which optimises and integrates CO2 capture and purification from 5 different production
units: 2 hydrogen plants, 2 ethylene oxide plants, and 1 ammonia plant.
• Kairos@C will use the services of the Antwerp@C consortium, which is developing a
multi-modal infrastructure to transport CO2 to multiple permanent storage sites around
the North Sea. A first-of-its-kind energy efficient liquefaction technology will be deployed.
• First-of-its-kind liquid CO2 vessels will be engineered and constructed in the project
timeframe for transport to the storage sites.
· The CO2 storage will take place in storage sites in the North Sea (Norway, the
Netherlands and/or in the UK).
ITaliAN PV Giga factOry
ItalyCoordinator: Enel Green Power Italia SrlTANGO will develop an industrial-scale pilot line for the manufacture of innovative and
high-quality bifacial heterojunction (B-HJT) photovoltaic (PV) cells.
The innovative bifacial heterojunction technology ensures higher performance with
respect to conventional modules, thanks to the intrinsic characteristics of the advanced
bi-facial structure that allows for the maximization of energy production while minimizing
the cost of electricity (LCOE) in utility scale installations. Furthermore, the project aims at
enabling the application of the Tandem structure to B-HJT solar cells, in order to
overcome the limit imposed by silicon bound to its band gap.
The project will scale up production from 200 MW/y to 3 GW/y of B-HJT photovoltaic
modules in a factory in Catania, Italy. The solar energy yield from the produced and
installed photovoltaic modules will avoid up to 21 Mt CO2 emissions over the first ten
years of operation.
TANGO will foster the European technology leadership in next generation of PV modules
and cells with a positive impact on the whole PV value chain while providing a substantial
social impact at regional, national, and European level.
Bio-Energy Carbon
Capture and Storage
(BECCS) at the existing
Combined Heat and
Power-plant KVV8 at
Värtaverket, Stockholm,
BECCS@STHLM will create a full-scale Bio-Energy Carbon Capture and Storage facility at
its existing heat and power biomass plant in Stockholm. The combination of the CO2
capture with heat recovery will make the process more efficient.
BECCS@STHLM will capture and store large quantities of biogenic CO2 with a potential to
avoid ca. 7.8 Mt CO2 over the first 10 years of operation.
The project will be a catalyst for net carbon removals which will become an increasingly
important instrument to reach climate neutrality. The project will participate in and
promote a new market for negative emissions and contribute to the establishment of all
the necessary links in a CCS value chain in Northern Europe, including transport by ship
of the CO2 for storage to Norway. The project will not only create direct jobs locally but
will also act as a springboard for many more new, green jobs throughout the technical
and commercial parts of the value chain outside Stockholm and Sweden.
K6 Program

Air Liquide
K6 will reduce CO2 emissions through implementation of a range of technological
initiatives and innovations at the Lumbres cement plant. The project aims to maximise
the usage of biomass-containing and other alternative fuels and to take advantage of
already-decarbonated raw materials. A novel industrial-scale combination of an oxy-fuel
kiln with carbon capture that replaces the existing wet kilns, will result in capturing of
over 90% of the remaining CO2. This CO2 will be transported by train and ship for storage
in North Sea sites or utilized in products of concrete, resulting in an avoidance of 8.1 Mt
CO2eq emissions over the first ten years of operation. Integration of the K6 Program
within the nearby port of Dunkirk fosters the development of the port as a future
European CO2 hub.
Reduction of CO2
emissions in methanol
production from municipal
non-recyclable waste
ECOPLANTA aims to convert non-recyclable fractions of municipal solid waste to chemicals
and biofuels. ECOPLANTA will produce 237 kt/y of methanol in a facility on a
petrochemical complex near the port of Tarragona, Spain and thereby recover 70% of the
carbon present in the municipal solid waste (MSW), achieving 3.5 Mt CO2eq of emissions
reductions over the first 10 years of operation. By displacing fossil fuels used for chemical
and fuel production with methanol from MSW that would otherwise end up in landfills or
be incinerated for energy, ECOPLANTA offers a clear pathway for the industry to
drastically cut emissions in power generation, overland transportation, shipping and
chemical industries.
Swedish large-scale steel
value chain demonstration
of Hydrogen
Breakthrough Iron-making
Vattenfall AB
HYBRIT (Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology) will replace coal-based blast
furnaces with direct hydrogen-based reduction technology. HYBRIT will demonstrate a
complete industrial value chain for hydrogen-based iron and steelmaking. The project will
produce approximately 1.2 Mt crude steel annually, representing 25% of Sweden’s
production. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 14.3 Mt CO2 over the first 10
years of operation. A new facility will be established for first-of-a-kind hydrogen-based
direct reduction, with 500 MW fossil-free electrolysis in Gällivare. Furthermore, two blast
furnaces are replaced by an electric furnace in Oxelösund. HYBRIT will moreover show the
viability of technologies needed to melt hydrogen-reduced iron into crude steel. The
project will thus lead the way to a full energy transition of the ore-based steel production
as access to renewable energy increases.
Sustainable Hydrogen
and Recovery of Carbon
Neste Oyj
SHARC – Sustainable Hydrogen and Recovery of Carbon – will reduce emissions at the
Porvoo refinery, Finland by moving from grey hydrogen towards green hydrogen through
the introduction of electrolysis facilities and blue hydrogen by application of carbon
capture and storage (CCS). Hydrogen is essential in the production processes of
transportation fuels, so the green and blue hydrogen will reduce the carbon intensity of
these fuels. SHARC will also scale the production of green hydrogen to help make it a
viable transportation fuel itself. Through this transition SHARC will save more than 4 Mt
CO2 in the first 10 years of operation.
The novel water electrolysis technology applied by SHARC has a capacity of 50 MW. This,
combined with CCS will maximise the environmental impact and the development of a
strong supply chain from the refinery, by ship to storage site and will lay the foundation
for a European hub for renewable hydrogen and CO2 utilisation.

Article by Sara Gavidia


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