Financing Clean Energy Transition in the Context of EU Recovery


  • DATE OF THE EVENT: September 30, 2020
  • TIME: 11:00 - 15:00 CEST
  • LOCATION: Online

SMARTSPEND online workshop gathered 16 high-level speakers and 200 attendees to discuss about current and future funding opportunities for clean energy

The  SMARTSPEND Online Workshop ‘Financing Clean Energy Transition in the Context of EU Recovery’ took place on the 30th September 2020. Greg Arrowsmith, SMARTSPEND’s Scientific Coordinator (EUREC), and Patrick Clerens, Secretary General at EASE moderated the two sessions of the workshop, which hosted 200 participants.

Patrick Child, Deputy Director-General at DG for Research and Innovation and Director of Clean Planet highlighted the importance of initiatives such as SMARTSPEND to create awareness about funding possibilities for clean energy innovation instituted as a result of the European Green Deal and the EU coronavirus recovery budget. He drew attention to the Taxonomy Regulation as a way to drive investor attention towards eco-friendly industries.

SESSION 1 / The EU financing offer to achieve Green Deal targets

Experts on EU-level finance for innovation described the tools to foster a green European recovery. The EIB volunteered its Innovation Finance Advisory service as the way in to its panoply of financial products function. Nuno Quental of DG Research offered to direct seekers of finance to appropriate instruments. Next year the EC’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency will take on that role.


SESSION 2/ How to improve EU financing offer for clean energy R&I in the context of the EU recovery: Recommendations from the energy community

The second session focused on presenting SMARTSPEND’s analysis on the EU financing offer and funding models in the context of the EU recovery. Luca Pira, Zabala Innovation Consulting, presented SMARTSPEND’s latest reports on ‘Funding Instruments for energy innovation’ and on ‘Industry’s funding needs for the implementation of the SET Plan’. Afterwards, six experts from different industry sectors from the clean energy field discussed about possible improvements of the EU financing offer to meet their sectors needs to enable a green recovery. CEO of BTG Biomass Technology Group René Venendaal outlined the sums needed to take an idea from concept to market in the slow pyrolysis area: 10-20 projects to get from TRL 1 to TRL 6, then 3 or 4 projects at 25 M EUR each to get from TRL to 9, at which point the technology should be fully financeable from capital markets.

=> You can find all the presentations here

=> And the recording of the workshop here Session 1 and Session 2



SMARTSPEND is a 3-year EU-funded project running until 30 November 2021, that aims to find new ways to coordinate and increase investments in clean energy. The SMARTSPEND project is supporting the execution of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) of the European Commission and has two main objectives: to foster the efficiency in allocation of public and private funding for clean energy technologies; and to better inform stakeholders through the publication of 6 reports related to clean energy financing offer and the organisation of a conference on access to risk finance, which will take place during spring 2021.

All SMARTSPEND’s reports and further information are available at  Stay informed about SMARTSPEND latest news by following the hashtag #SMARTSPEND_EU on Twitter and LinkedIn and by subscribing to the project newsletter via this link.


SMARTSPEND in bullet points:

  • 3-year-project (2018-2021) developed by 11 expert partners from all over Europe
  • Goal: more efficient and effective use of the national and European funding for Research, Development & Innovation in the energy sector
  • Objectives:
    • to foster efficiency in allocation of public & private funding
    • to better inform stakeholders through the preparation and dissemination of six reports; and dissemination based on engagement with policy makers
  • SMARTSPEND’s leaflet and logo are available here:


SMARTSPEND partners and sectors:

SMARTSPEND’s partners were chosen because of their links to companies and research centres in particular clean energy fields. This will allow the results of the project to be disseminated widely, including: analysis of industry funding needs; a map of funding instruments for energy innovation; recommendations for alternative models of sectoral organisation at EU level, and recommendations on supporting innovation in energy technology:

  • EUREC – The Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centres: scientific coordinator
  • CIRCE Foundation – Centre of Research for Energy Resources and Consumption): process industry
  • EASE – European Association for Storage of Energy: energy storage
  • ECTP – European Construction Technology Platform: energy-efficient buildings and construction
  • EGEC – European Geothermal Energy Council: geothermal energy
  • EMIRI – Energy Materials Industrial Research Initiative: advanced materials for clean energy and clean mobility technologies
  • ESTELA – European Solar Thermal Electricity Association: Concentrated Solar Power
  • Ocean Energy Europe: Ocean Energy
  • The German Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR) – bioenergy
  • WIP Renewable Energies: photovoltaics
  • ZABALA Innovation Consulting: smart energy networks


For more information, you can find it here

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