Financing for CCS included in the EU’s 2030 climate framework

Thursday, 30 October 2014

On 24 October the European Council agreed to a new 2030 climate and energy police framework. This includes a decision to continue and extend the NER300 facility which has raised over €2 billion to support CCS and innovative renewable energy technologies since it was launched in 2010.

The new agreement extends the facility to low-carbon innovation in industrial sectors and will have an initial endowment increased to 400 million EU ETS allowances.

This decision is a welcome development for CCS and consistent with a call made by the members of the European CCS Project Network in a letter to the representatives of the EU Members States.

Signatories of the letter (many of whom were unsuccessful in the first round of the NER300) believe the success of the new scheme will depend on its design. In particular, the allocation rules need be made more flexible and take into account the long lead times of CCS project, their first-of a kind nature, and lack of national support schemes that other low carbon technologies benefit from.

In 2012 in the first round of proposals under the NER300, the European Commission awarded over €1.2 billion to 23 innovative renewable energy technology projects. The applicant CCS projects were not considered for funding for a number of reasons including lack of complementary national-level support, funding gaps and permitting delays.

In the second round of the NER300 a total of €1 billion has been made available to 19 innovative renewable energy projects and the UK’s White Rose CCS Project. The White Rose Project will receive up to €300 million to build the first large-scale oxyfuel CCS power plant in the world with the ability to use biomass fuel for co-firing. Additional backing for the White Rose Project comes from a multi-million GBP contract awarded in December 2013 under the UK CCS commercialisation programme to carry out Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) study and the perspective of an early agreement with the UK government on a contract for difference (CfD) regime to support the operating expenditure of the project.