European leadership in renewables — funding innovation

This session aims to raise awareness of the Commission's efforts to accelerate the deployment of innovative RES and to present relevant EU funding opportunities that support the Commission’s ambition to maintain its leadership in renewables.

The European Union is a front-runner in innovative renewable energy technologies, with 30 % of the world’s patents in this field. Funding first-of-the-kind innovative technologies remains a key challenge as they entail a high risk for the private sector.

Ensuring European leadership in breakthrough renewable technologies requires decisive action in addressing private financing gaps at the earlier stages of the innovation cycle. The European NER 300 programme is one of the world's largest funding programmes for the demonstration of innovative low carbon technologies on a commercial scale. The European Commission proposal on the revision of the EU Emissions Trading System puts forward the Innovation Fund as a successor to the current NER 300 facility. Other EU financial instruments can complement the funding of these investments.

The session focuses on such EU financing mechanisms for innovative renewables projects and in particular on the NER 300 and InnovFin Energy Demo Projects. Furthermore, the session includes: a presentation of two case studies of successful renewables projects, with a focus on the process of securing financial closure; an update by the European Commission on the redeployment of unused NER 300 funds as well as on the Innovation Fund; and presentations by the European Investment Bank and a private investor, with their perspective on the challenges and opportunities in investing in innovative RES projects.