Smart grid and CSP schemes among EU's €1.2 billion handout recipients

The money is being allocated in the first phase of the EU’s NER300 scheme, which uses the funds raised by selling 300 million carbon credits issued under the new entrants’ reserve (NER) portion of the bloc’s emissions trading scheme.

The funding – linked to energy output targets and knowledge-sharing and paid in annual installments – can pay for up to half of the demonstration project costs above the expense of traditional generation schemes of the same size with the rest of the funding for each project coming from private or EU member state investment.

The SLim smart grid scheme will use five smart grid building blocks to handle the significant amount of distributed renewables generation used to power the Belgian city of Lommel.

Meanwhile, the successful CSP schemes are Stirling-dish-and-reflector fields in Larnaca, Cyprus and the Florina region of Greece, which have secured €46.6 million and €44.6 million, respectively, and central tower/heliostat projects near Atherinolakos on Crete and in Badajoz, Spain, which have secured €42.1 million and €70 million, respectively.

The EU estimates that the NER300 program will increase energy production by more than 10 TWh, secure more than €2 billion of additional investment and will generate thousands of construction jobs over the next three to four years and around 1,000 full-time jobs thereafter.

Phase Two of the NER300 will distribute any remaining funding from the first round along with the proceeds from the sale of the remaining 100 million NER carbon credits.