The European Union has given the green light for a €118 million investment from the Innovation Fund to be allocated across 32 small projects, including a bioLNG plant to produce marine fuel and the retrofit of a ferry to operate on battery power.
The projects are located in 14 EU Member States, as well as Iceland and Norway. The grants are intended to support projects aiming to bring low carbon technologies to the market in energy intensive industries, hydrogen, energy storage and renewable energy. In addition to this funding, 15 of the projects will receive project development assistance worth up to €4.4 million.
According to an EU statement, the 32 projects selected for funding were evaluated by independent experts for their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional technologies and ‘to innovate beyond the state-of-the-art while being sufficiently mature to enable their quick deployment.’
Other criteria included the projects' potential for scalability and cost effectiveness. The selected projects cover a wide range of relevant sectors to decarbonise different parts of Europe's industry and energy sectors.
The First Bio2Shipping project, based in the Netherlands, aims to develop an industrial plant to produce renewable bioLNG ‘in a standardised and scalable fashion’. The plant will comprise a gas treatment unit, a bio-LNG polishing and storage unit and a carbon capture unit.
At the heart of the production process is iLNG technology, which aims to overcome challenges such as low bio-LNG quality, high methane slip, and high costs for disposal of washwater and toxic chemical waste.
The demonstration plant aims to produce 6 million Nm3/year of biogas, 2,400 tons/year biomethane and 5,000 tons/year bio-CO2.
The E-PROOF project involves retrofitting the passenger/car ferry MS Piret to operate on battery power. The vessel’s diesel engines would only be use in challenging situations, such as sea ice build-up.
The project also proposes the possibility for future integration of an onshore buffer battery, connected to a smart electricity grid.
The EU’s Executive Vice-President FransTimmermans commented: ‘With today's investment, the EU is giving concrete support to clean tech projects all over Europe to scale up technological solutions that can help reach climate neutrality by 2050. The increase of the Innovation Fund proposed in the Fit for 55 Package will enable the EU to support even more projects in the future, speed them up, and bring them to the market as quickly as possible.’