On 23 September 2019, a workshop has been organised in Brussels in order to discuss the place of the geothermal sector in the Innovation Fund.
EGEC Members were welcomed to participate in this workshop, notably to present projects that may be eligible for funding from the Innovation Fund, or the type of instruments that would be most valuable in channelling financial support to innovative geothermal projects.
The Innovation Fund is a European Financing programme that stems from the EU ETS, which aims to invest part of the revenues from the European carbon trading scheme to the development of innovative clean energy technologies. The Innovation Fund replaces the NER300. It has a wider scope than its predecessor (with notably a greater focus on energy intensive industries and energy storage) and a larger budget. There remains some need for clarification as to the mechanisms through which funding will be awarded to projects.
The NER300 awarded funding in the form of grants that had to be repayed should the project fail, which made it an instrument that was not aligned with the economic of deep geothermal projects. The Innovation Fund is likely to continue this model, however, discussions are open as to the possibility to award funds to projects by different means, for instance different types of grants or through financial instruments.