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NER 300 programme

Policy

NER 300 is one of the world's largest funding programmes for innovative low-carbon energy demonstration projects. The programme is conceived as a catalyst for the demonstration of environmentally safe carbon capture and storage (CCS) and innovative renewable energy (RES) technologies on a commercial scale within the European Union.

Schwarze Pumpe Germany
SeaGen - Courtesy MCT Ltd

Renewable energy technologies
at the focus of NER 300

This page provides a general overview of the NER 300 programme, whereas more information on the instrument's legislation, monetisation of allowances and annual reporting requirements is available in the documentation page. Furthermore, for better insight on NER 300 projects, communication activities and knowledge sharing requirements (including reporting templates), please visit SETIS NER 300

Wide range of CCS and RES technologies supported

The aim of NER 300 is to establish a demonstration programme comprising the best possible CCS and RES projects and involving all Member States. The programme intends to support a wide range of CCS technologies (pre-combustion, post-combustion, oxyfuel, and industrial applications) and RES technologies (bioenergy, concentrated solar power, photovoltaics, geothermal, wind, ocean, hydropower, and smart grids).

NER 300 also seeks to leverage a considerable amount of private investment and/or national co-funding across the EU, boost the deployment of innovative low-carbon technologies and stimulate the creation of jobs in those technologies within the EU.

NER 300 is so called because it is funded from the sale of 300 million emission allowances from the New Entrants' Reserve (NER) set up for the third phase of the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS). The funds from the sales are to be distributed to projects selected through two rounds of calls for proposals, covering 200 and 100 million allowances respectively.

First award decision

Under the first call for proposals the European Commission made funding awards for a total value of €1.1 billion to 20 renewable energy projects. This amount is estimated to have leveraged additional funding of over €2 billion from private sources.

See this Q&A for further details of the projects chosen.

The projects awarded funding are now moving towards implementation. They must reach their final investment decisions by December 2016, and enter into operation by latest December 2018.

Second award decision

Under the second award decision in July 2014 the European Commission awarded a total of €1 billion in funding to 18 renewable energy projects and one carbon capture and storage project. This amount is estimated to have leveraged additional funding of over €860 million from private sources.

See the Q&A for further details of the projects chosen.

The projects awarded funding must reach their final investment decisions by June 2018 and enter into operation by latest June 2020.

The publication of further NER 300 calls for proposals is not foreseen and the programme should be considered closed. The Commission is now focusing on the implementation of the projects selected for funding, visible on an interactive map here: https://setis.ec.europa.eu/NER300.  

Unspent NER 300 funds

However, some awarded NER 300 projects may be cancelled. By the end of 2016, this already resulted in 4 withdrawn projects and undisbursed NER 300 funds of at least €436 million.

The Commission has proposed reinvesting such resources from the first NER 300 call through existing EU financial instruments. To this end, on 19 May 2017 Member States approved, in the Climate Change Committee, a relevant amendment to the NER 300 Decision, which is now subject to a three-month scrutiny period by the European Parliament and Council.

The instruments that are foreseen to be used for this exercise, as they can ensure timely support to projects of a similar scope, are InnovFin Energy Demo Projects (EDP) and Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Debt. The former can finance projects in innovative renewable energy, CCS, smart energy systems and storage; the latter the use of renewables in the transport sector. Both are managed by the European Investment Bank.

The InnovFin EDP instrument has already been amended to enable it to absorb unspent NER 300 funds. Consequently, extra resources coming from NER 300 are foreseen to become available through InnvoFin EDP towards the end of 2017. InnovFin EDP is a financial instrument and it is therefore entirely market driven. Support is thus provided to eligible projects on a first-come-first-serve basis. It is important to notice that, thanks to the redeployment of unspent NER 300 funds, InnovFin EDP will also feature a project development assistance (PDA) window. Such PDA will be a technical assistance facility providing non-refundable support to project developers in order to strengthen the financial structure and overall soundness of their applications.

To apply for InnovFin EDP and for PDA, project sponsors can contact the EIB at their earliest convenience (http://www.eib.org/products/blending/innovfin/products/energy-demo-projects.htm and http://www.eib.org/products/blending/innovfin/how-to-apply/index.htm).

As for CEF Debt Instrument, the Delegation Agreement with the EIB still needs to be amended to allow unspent NER 300 funds to be channelled through this instrument during the course of 2018.

It should be noted that under the CEF Regulation, the combination of CEF Grants and CEF Debt Instrument financing (i.e. blending) is possible.

In this respect potential project promoters may consider an application for CEF grants through the CEF Transport Blending Call 2017 : http://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/connecting-europe-facility/cef-transport/apply-funding/2017-cef-transport-blending-map-call

Project promoters interested in advisory services related to financing and blending opportunities including as offered by the CEF Transport Blending Call may receive such advice through the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH) by sending an email request to eiah@eib.org

Finally, in its proposal for a revised ETS adopted on 15 July 2015 (COM (2015) 337 - https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/ets/revision_en#tab-0-1), the Commission proposed to create an Innovation Fund endowed with 450 million allowances in order to support the demonstration of CCS, innovative RES and low-carbon innovation in energy-intensive industry.

Programme management and implementation

The European Commission is responsible for the overall management and implementation of NER 300. In this, the Commission draws on the unique expertise of the European Investment Bank (EIB) to evaluate proposals submitted by Member States, to sell NER allowances on its behalf, and to manage the revenues and the payment of funds to Member States during project implementation.

Reports on the sales of NER 300 allowances can be found under the Documentation tab above.

Documentation

Legislation

Award decisions under the first and second call for proposals

European Investment Bank

Payment Request template

Annual Reporting Template

Guidance documents