SMARTSPEND online workshop gathered 16 high-level speakers and 200 attendees to discuss about current and future funding opportunities for clean energy

The SMARTSPEND Online Workshop ‘Financing Clean Energy Transition in the Context of EU Recovery’ took place on the 30th September 2020, from 11am to 3pm. Greg Arrowsmith, SMARTSPEND’s Scientific Coordinator (EUREC), and Patrick Clerens, Secretary General at EASE moderated the two sessions of the workshop, which hosted 200 participants.

Patrick Child, Deputy Director-General at DG for Research and Innovation and Director of Clean Planet highlighted the importance of initiatives such as SMARTSPEND to create awareness about funding possibilities for clean energy innovation instituted as a result of the European Green Deal and the EU coronavirus recovery budget. He drew attention to the Taxonomy Regulation as a way to drive investor attention towards eco-friendly industries.

SESSION 1 / The EU financing offer to achieve Green Deal targets

Experts on EU-level finance for innovation described the tools to foster a green European recovery. The EIB volunteered its Innovation Finance Advisory service as the way in to its panoply of financial products function. Nuno Quental of DG Research offered to direct seekers of finance to appropriate instruments. Next year the EC’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency will take on that role[1].

[1] Statement by Dirk Beckers, director of INEA: 2:30:35-2:31:41 at CLIMA’s Financing Innovative Clean Tech Conference 25 September

SESSION 2/ How to improve EU financing offer for clean energy R&I in the context of the EU recovery: Recommendations from the energy community

The second session focused on presenting SMARTSPEND’s analysis on the EU financing offer and funding models in the context of the EU recovery. Luca Pira, Zabala Innovation Consulting, presented SMARTSPEND’s latest reports on ‘Funding Instruments for energy innovation’ and on ‘Industry’s funding needs for the implementation of the SET Plan’. Afterwards, six experts from different industry sectors from the clean energy field discussed about possible improvements of the EU financing offer to meet their sectors needs to enable a green recovery. CEO of BTG Biomass Technology Group René Venendaal outlined the sums needed to take an idea from concept to market in the slow pyrolysis area: 10-20 projects to get from TRL 1 to TRL 6, then 3 or 4 projects at 25 M EUR each to get from TRL 6-9, at which point the technology should be fully financeable from capital markets.

All SMARTSPEND’s reports and further information is available are available here

The workshop presentations are available here

You will find below the recording of the two sessions and the list of organisations that participated in the workshop:

SMARTSPEND is a 3-year EU-funded project running until 30 November 2021, that aims to find new ways to coordinate and increase investments in clean energy. The SMARTSPEND project is supporting the execution of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) of the European Commission and has two main objectives: to foster the efficiency in allocation of public and private funding for clean energy technologies; and to better inform stakeholders through the publication of 6 reports related to clean energy financing offer and the organisation of a conference on access to risk finance, which will take place during spring 2021.

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