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Eur10 billion for renewable energy tenders

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London — Massive new funding for renewables, sustainable hydrogen, networks and electric cars are at the heart of energy actions in the European Commission's draft green recovery plan, according to a leaked draft document made available by the Euractiv news agency.

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The European Commission is working on a package of measures to help EU economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The stimulus package, reportedly providing around Eur1 trillion ($1.1 trillion) of support across all sectors, is due to be presented on May 27.

On a public holiday in Brussels Thursday, no EC spokesperson was immediately available to confirm the authenticity of the document.

The draft document details plans for an EU tender scheme for 15 GW of renewables over the next two years, with Eur10 billion ($11 billion) of EIB co-financing to support member state projects.

"A renewable energy acceleration program to support 25% of the market, making up for reduced tenders at Member State level, [would imply] total capital investment of Eur25 billion for the two years together," the document said.

With increasing competitiveness of renewables, however, actual public support would be lower, depending on electricity market prices, it said.

Clean hydrogen

For clean hydrogen, the EC wants to double funding to Eur1.3 billion of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership (the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking), and make Eur2-4 billion of Innovation Fund co-financing available over the next two years "to substantially reduce risk of large/complex projects."

Meanwhile a one million metric ton/yr clean hydrogen commitment could be supported by a Contracts for Difference mechanism that would pay the difference between a CO2 strike price and actual CO2 prices in the Emission Trading System, bridging the cost gap between conventional and decarbonised hydrogen.

Assuming clean hydrogen production would need support for 10 years, a CfD-type instrument under the Innovation Fund would cost between Eur5 billion and Eur30 billion, it said.

Networks, mobility

An energy system based on delivering interchangeable clean electricity and hydrogen to end-user markets required major investments in infrastructure to ensure large scale deployment by 2030, the Commission said.

A Eur10 billion/year fund administered by the EIB would support vital investments in electricity transmission, smart distribution grids, hydrogen infrastructure for transport and storage, carbon capture, use and storage, including storage sites, and adaptation of gas grids for low carbon gases, it said.

Meanwhile in mobility, the document proposes a Eur20 billion EU-wide Purchasing Facility for clean vehicles over the next two years, a Eur40-60 billion Clean Automotive Investment Fund to accelerate manufacturing of electric vehicles, and a doubling of the EU investment package for Recharging EU, aiming for 2 million public charging and alternative refuelling stations by 2025.