EU bets on innovation to secure energy transition

(EurActiv, 5 Mar 2019) Breakthrough climate-change-busting technologies are set to benefit from €10 billion in EU funding over the next decade, as the European Commission confirmed its punt on a major new innovation fund.

Last November, the EU executive unveiled its plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions drastically by 2050 and national leaders are expected to decide what direction to go in this year.

If the member states select the Commission’s full-fat scenario, which would mean Europe absorbing all of the emissions it produces, the continent’s energy-intensive industries will have to make sweeping changes in order to adapt.

Enter the new Innovation Fund, which was given the green light by the Berlaymont last week.

By selling millions of carbon allowances from the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, the Commission plans to put together a war-chest of €10 billion that can be used to develop, test and eventually market low-carbon technologies.

EU climate boss Miguel Arias Cañete said the Commission’s strategy of making the economy ‘climate neutral’ “will need deployment of clean innovative technologies on an industrial scale”.

“This is why we are investing in bringing to the market highly innovative technologies in energy-intensive industries, in carbon capture, storage and use, in the renewable energy sector and in energy storage,” the Spanish Commissioner added.

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EurActiv, 5 Mar 2019: EU bets on innovation to secure energy transition