Post-mortem: Auditors analyse EU’s failed carbon capture projects

(EurActiv, 24 Oct 2018) EU-funded efforts to boost the uptake of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies have failed largely because of a lack of coordination and long-term strategies that scared away investors, according to a report by the European Court of Auditors.

The EU watchdog looked into funding programmes launched between 2008 and 2017 in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom but found that they fell short of their targets.

Under the European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR) and the New Entrants’ Reserve (NER300), a war-chest of €3.7 billion was available to invest in projects that could show the commercial viability of CCS.

Only one project, funded under the EEPR in Spain, is currently operating but it is not of a commercial size. Four other projects were terminated early and another, in the Netherlands, did actually acquire a carbon storage permit but the facility is not in use.

NER300 aimed to fund eight projects but the first call for tender failed to award any grants after the European Commission concluded that none fulfilled the necessary legal requirements.

For example, three UK-based projects were cancelled because the British government made its contribution dependent on a national competition that was underway at the time. A second call for proposals was also unsuccessful after the UK nixed its support scheme in 2015.

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EurActiv, 24 Oct 2018: Post-mortem: Auditors analyse EU’s failed carbon capture projects