The long awaited ranking of projects, CCS and renewables, seeking funding under the first call for proposals of the EU’s NER300 programme has been published.

The projects have been subjected to a due diligence assessment by the European Investment Bank and ranked according to cost per unit of performance. The CCS project list, ranked by cost per tonne of CO2 sequestered (which did not help the Peterhead CCS project because of the relatively low CO2 concentration in gas fired plant flue gas relative to that of coal) is:

Don Valley Power Project, UK (IGCC, coal)
Belchatow, Poland (post combustion on lignite)
Green Hydrogen, Netherlands (non-power (hydrogen production))
The Teeside CCS project, UK (IGCC, coal)
White Rose, UK (oxyfuel, coal)
C.GEN North Killingholme, UK (IGCC, coal)
Porto Tolle, Italy (post combustion, coal)
ULCOS-BF, France, industrial (non-power (steel-making))

Reserve list
Getica project at Turceni, Romania (post combustion on lignite)
Peterhead, UK (post combustion on gas)

The Commission estimates that under this first call for proposals “some 3 carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration projects and up to 16 innovative renewable energy (RES) demonstration projects could be co-funded” with the NER300 funding leveraging “a considerable amount of private investment and/or national co-funding across the EU.”

The funding comes from the sale of 300 million allowances from the New Entrants Reserve (NER) of the third phase of the EU Emissions Trading System, hence the name. The sale is being done in two parts, 200 million allowances for the first call, to be followed by a subsequent sale of 100 million allowances.

NER300 will provide 50% of “relevant” costs (investment costs associated with capture and storage in the case of CCS) and no project will receive funds corresponding to more than 15% of the available allowances.

The total amount of first call funding (much less than originally envisaged due to the low prices that allowances have been trading at) is still uncertain but will be known by October 2012. It is estimated that a total of about €1.3 to 1.5 billion could be available from sale of the 200 million allowances (average sale price to date 8.05 euro), net of expenses and fees incurred by EIB.

There is still some way to go before final award decisions are made. Upon completion of the monetisation of the first 200 million allowances, the Commission says it “will draw up the final list of candidates for award decisions, de-select projects as required to match the total available funds, and ask Member States to formally confirm support for at most three projects on the final list, as well as any national co-funding where applicable. The confirmed list of projects for award decisions will be presented for an opinion of the Climate Change Committee, and after that, award decisions will be made.”

Both Don Valley and Belchatow are already recipients of 180 million euro each under the European Economic Recovery Programme (EERP) funding scheme. In addition Don Valley, in which Samsung C&T and BOC have each recently agreed to take an equity stake, is a contender for funding under the UK government’s CCS commercialisation scheme.

For further information and the full list of renewables and CCS projects, with brief descriptions, see: