European Commssion pledges 'billions' in renewables funding

EUROPE: EU member states have approved European Commission proposals to allocate billions of euros from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to fund renewable energy, including wind, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.

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The EU Climate Change Committee gave the green light on Tuesday for the distribution of 300 million carbon allowances from the new entrants reserve (NER) to renewables and CCS in Phase III of the ETS, which starts in 2013.

This would amount to around €4.5bn at the current market price of €15 per tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2), but the sum could increase significantly if the price of carbon rises.

The Committee agreed member states should play a strong role in determining the projects suitable for support, but said the Commission should take the final decisions.

It advised a good balance between CCS and renewables, with at least one project, but no more than three, per member state.

The money should be awarded through two rounds. The first call will be issued by the end of December 2011 to fund eight CCS demonstration projects and one project from each of the 34 renewables sub-categories. There are six subcategories for wind.

The draft decision will now go to the European Parliament and the Council for scrutiny. If no objections are raised, the Commission should adopt the text in May 2010.

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