The EU and Bill Gates announce 820 million to accelerate the deployment of clean energy

It has partnered with Breakthrough Energy Catalyst and the European Investment Bank to boost hydrogen or CO2 capture, among others.

The EU and Bill Gates will allocate 820 million to accelerate the rapid deployment of clean technologies

In the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Y Bill Gates, founder of Breakthrough Energy, together with the president of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, have officially entered a pioneering partnership that will drive investment in critical climate technologies.

The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding follows up on the initial announcement made in June of this year in the Mission Innovation Ministerial Conference.

The partnership between the Commission, the European Investment Bank and Breakthrough Energy Catalyst will mobilize up to € 820 million between 2022 and 2026 to accelerate deployment and rapidly commercialize innovative technologies that will help deliver the ambitions of the European Green Deal and the EU climate targets for 2030.

It is expected that each euro of public funds leverage three euros of private funds. Investments will target a portfolio of EU-based projects with high potential in four sectors: clean hydrogen; sustainable aviation fuels; direct air capture; and long-term energy storage.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, has said that “the time to act is now. The climate challenge requires that we invest in high-risk innovations and eliminate the ‘green premium’ that implies the commercialization of new technologies ”.

“I can’t wait for the technologies to hit the market. The EU-Catalyst partnership is one more step on the way to making Europe the first climate-neutral and climate-innovation continent. I hope that Member States, industry and others will join the climate innovation race. ”

Werner Hoyer, president of the European Investment Bank, for his part, added that “to achieve the Paris climate goals, we need a global technological revolution and massive investments in groundbreaking innovations. The European Investment Bank has a strong track record in financing early-stage technologies, helping to scale them to be more affordable. “

Finally, Bill Gates, founder of Breakthrough Energy, has pointed out that “Reaching net zero will be one of the hardest things humanity has ever done.”

“It will require new technologies, new policies, and new public-private partnerships on a scale we’ve never seen before. This partnership with the European Commission and the European Investment Bank will help accelerate the widespread adoption of climate solutions, which will build clean industries and create job opportunities across Europe for generations to come. “

Technologies still expensive

The EU-Catalyst partnership will focus on technologies with recognized potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but which are currently too expensive to scale and compete with fossil fuel-based technologies.

It will bring together the public and private sectors to invest in large-scale demonstration projects.

Both the European Investment Bank (using Commission resources) and Breakthrough Energy Catalyst will provide equivalent amounts of grants and financial investments in projects. As part of its contribution, Breakthrough Energy Catalyst will mobilize partners to invest in projects and / or purchase the resulting green products.

By supporting these technologies at this stage of the demonstration process and creating a market for these green products, the EU-Catalyst partnership will reduce its ‘green premium’, that is, reduce its costs to a level that is ultimately competitive with products based on fossil fuels. options.

This will help accelerate its global adoption and lead to independence from public support schemes.

EU funding for the association will come from Horizon europe and from Innovation Fund, and will be managed through InvestEU in accordance with established governance procedures.

Breakthrough Energy Catalyst will leverage equivalent private capital and philanthropic funds in support of key climate-smart technologies to accelerate the transition to sustainable industrial ecosystems in Europe.

The EU-Catalyst partnership will be open to national investments from EU Member States through InvestEU or at project level. The first projects are expected to be selected in 2022.