"NER300" is a financing instrument managed jointly by the European Commission, European Investment Bank and Member States, so-called because Article 10(a) 8 of the revised Emissions Trading Directive 2009/29/EC contains the provision to set aside 300 million allowances (rights to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide) in the New Entrants’ Reserve of the European Emissions Trading Scheme for subsidising installations of innovative renewable energy technology and carbon capture and storage (CCS). The allowances will be sold on the carbon market and the money raised — expected to be around 2.0 bn EUR at current carbon prices — will be made available to projects as they operate. More information is available under the tab Basics. Official information is available on the Commission website here.

NER300.com is an unofficial, independent portal dedicated to renewable energy and grid integration projects wishing to access this instrument, providing
  • News
    ...to keep you up to date with the latest developments, key dates and deadlines
  • Analysis
    ...understand the NER300 instrument and how to use it for your project
  • Access to consultancy
    ...for specific guidance for your proposal.
Mar 03 2014

Fourth project to relinquish its NER300 award brings total of unused awards to 300 M EUR

ENDS Europe reported on 27 February that a final investment decision on UPM’s Stracel project in France (BIOd) is ‘unlikely’ to be taken until next year because of uncertainty in the regulatory outlook for advanced biofuels. This means the project is likely to lose its entitlement to a NER300 subsidy of 170 M EUR, a condition of which is that the final investment decision is taken by the end of December 2014. This is the fourth project after Westwave, Pyrogrot and Ajos BTL to have publicly announced that it either cannot or is unlikely to use its award, bringing the total so far of unusable awards to a little over 300 M EUR.

  1. NER300.com’s commentary:

    The milestone is significant (in a negative sense) because it means that more money may end up being paid out to renewable energy projects from the Second Round than from the first, even allowing for the eventuality that 300 M EUR is awarded to the only CCS project in the competition. There were half as many proposals concerning renewables in the Second Round than in the first, so their chances of winning funding appear today to be much greater.

    To enable the awards to be reallocated from the first round to the second, the Swedish, Finnish and French governments need to write officially to DG CLIMA to withdraw these projects from the competition.

    It’s not over yet. An estimate of the value of further awards that will go bad is 250 M EUR, or 450 M EUR (!) if Woodspirit goes the way of Stracel and Ajos BTL.

Feb 25 2014

Ajos BTL project ‘frozen’

Vapo, the company behind the ‘Ajos BTL’ first Round NER300 project (Award: 88 M EUR, subcategory BIOe) took the decision on 21 February to ‘freeze’ work on its NER300 project. Its press release is available here. The company’s press describes the failure of the EC’s proposal for a Framework for Climate and Energy 2020-2030, released on 22 January, to include any specific measures to ensure a binding share of renewable energy transport as the “decisive blow” to its project. Its Managing Director comments, “In this situation it is not possible to conclude long-term commitments, which would have created the financial preconditions for Vapo’s biodiesel project.”

Dec 17 2013

Pyrogrot abandoned

BillerudKorsnäs today announced the withdrawal of its Swedish project, Pyrogrot, from NER300. Pyrogrot was a BIOa-subcategory project concerning ‘Lignocellulose to intermediate solid, liquid or slurry bioenergy carriers via pyrolysis with capacity of minimum 40 kt/y of the final product’. In mid-2013 the project applied for an extension to its date of entry into operation, a leaked document from the EC shows.

Before the end of the month, projects must submit the first of a series of annual reports, detailing the progress they are making.

The EC will need to decide whether to allow another award to a Swedish project in the second round of NER300, which is currently underway. It has written that it is “highly unlikely” that this will be possible.

Dec 10 2013

Westwave out of NER300 first round

The EC will present amendments to the Dec 2012 Award Decision to the Climate Change Committee tomorrow. The Westwave project, awarded 19.8 M EUR, has withdrawn from the first round of NER300.

ESB, the Project Sponsor of Westwave, confirmed the withdrawal, citing difficulty in complying with NER300′s deadlines and, in the period between the submission of the funding application in Feb 2011 and the Award Decision in 2012, slower than foreseen progress in wave energy technology. The company said, “In agreement with the EC and Irish Government, ESB has withdrawn the project from the first round of NER300 and resubmitted it to the second round. This allows the timeline to be extended by 2 years, thus allowing time for [wave] technology to mature.”

The money allocated to it will be available to fund projects in the second round, which are currently being screened for the technical and financial soundness by the EIB. The resubmitted project is therefore competing against the other 32 proposals undergoing this assessment.

The project was one of two Irish contenders in the first round. The resubmitted project is Ireland’s only second-round project.

The EC’s revisions to the Award Decision will be available soon after tomorrow’s Climate Change Committee meeting.

Nov 28 2013

DG CLIMA considering to a successor programme to NER300

Speaking at different events at the European Parliament over the last two days, DG CLIMA officials have hinted at a follow-on programme to NER300 (26 Nov 2013 Head of Unit Piotr Tulej speaking at ZEP event on CCS; 27 Nov 2013 Director Humberto Delgado-Rosa speaking at an ITRE committee hearing).

Any decision to set up a successor scheme to NER300 will depend on an evaluation exercise to be carried out in 2014 once the Award Decision in respect of the second round of NER300 has been published.

Delgado Rosa said of NER300, “I consider it successful.”

MEPs in the ITRE hearing were keen to see storage technologies included among the those that might be supported in future. Jacques Kiewit from Air Liquide (behind the Green Hydrogen CCS proposal), supported by MEP Chris Davies, called for more flexibility in the NER300 rules. In response, Delgado Rosa said it might be appropriate to “give the Commission more discretion” in a future scheme, but in the first round priority had been put on clear rules so that the EC could “be accountable towards Member States”.

Nov 25 2013

European Parliament hearing on NER300

The Industry, Research and Energy committee of the European Parliament has, at the last minute, organised a public hearing on NER300 and the European Energy Programme for recovery (a funding instrument set-up shortly before NER300). It will take place 0900-1100 on Wednesday 27 Nov 2013 in the European Parliament in Brussels.

The project ‘Gobigas phase 2′ (BIOc, SE) from the first call will report its experience of NER300 in a section of the programme called ‘Perspectives on NER300 and lessons learned’.

Then follows a section called ‘Opportunities next NER300 scheme’, where the idea of applying an NER300-type process to storage technologies will be examined.

As an official committee hearing, the event will be web-streamed. This link should take you to the web-stream.

Oct 03 2013

Consultation on Annual Reporting template closes tomorrow

On 11 September DG CLIMA invited Member States to review a draft ‘template for Annual Reporting’ that it had prepared. This is the report that, on 31 Dec of each year up to and including the year of (or following? – unclear) a project’s long-stop date, should describe the progress of the NER300 project concerned. It is distinct from the report that must be supplied to comply with NER300′s knowledge-sharing obligations. The Member States have until tomorrow to feed back comments to the EC. As the report will largely be compiled from information supplied by the Project Sponsor, some Member States have chosen to involve their Project Sponsors in the EC’s consultation.

NER300.com’s suggestions, embedded in the draft prepared by DG CLIMA, are downloadable here.

The EC will expect all Member States to follow the template in their Annual Reports once it has been agreed.

Oct 02 2013

Uncertainty on EU rules for biofuels possible up to FID deadline of 18 Dec 2014

MEPs voted in the European Parliament on 11 September to proceed to a Second Reading on the revision of the RES-Directive to increase the greenhouse-gas savings from biofuels. One consequence of this will be to push back the date when discussions will reach a conclusion. Corinne Lepage, the MEP leading the EP’s discussions, said in a press conference following the vote that she did “not have too high hopes” (English interpretation) of a conclusion being reached before the EP elections in May 2014.

  1. NER300.com’s commentary:

    Uncertainty over the future regulatory regime for biofuels could put some biofuel projects in NER300 at risk by causing them to delay signing their Legally Binding Instrument and making their Final Investment Decision. Under NER300 rules, projects must make a FID in by 18 December 2014.

Jun 29 2013

Fourth edition of FAQ circulating

The EC has prepared a fourth edition of its FAQ. DG CLIMA apparently sent it in the evening of 27 June to people whose questions had been answered since the last FAQ but by 29 June, four and a half days before the deadline to submit applications to the Second Round, it is still not available to all on DG CLIMA’s NER300 website.

The EC addressed a question from NER300.com in its answer to FAQ 52. FAQ 52 explains how to perform relevant cost calculations compliantly, particularly concerning investment costs that are incurred over several years. NER300.com’s guidance note, interpreting the EC’s answer, is provided here.

Jun 18 2013

Third Edition of FAQ published

The third edition of the FAQ has been published, with answers to previous questions renumbered compared to the previous edition.

  1. NER300.com’s commentary:

    Three of the new answers in the latest edition are worthy of comment.

    Question: The NER300 Decision states that geothermal Combined Heat and Power (CHP) applications with the same electricity threshold are eligible. Is the heat produced taken into account in the projected amount of energy produced, in addition to the electricity generated?
    Answer: Yes

    The EC’s answer is a little too brief. To clarify, what the EC means is, ‘Yes, heat produced should be taken into account to the extent that it is valorised and generates an income — aka “operating benefit” — to the project. The same goes for the costs associated with generating and delivering that heat. But, as stated at the bottom of page 40 of the Call text, for the purpose of determining CPUP, performance should be calculated as the total energy content of the final product(s) explicitly mentioned in the description of the sub-categories, therefore excluding any additional energy streams which might be produced by the demo plant (example: heat).’

    Contradictory answers appear next to each in other current edition. Compare FAQ 20:

    Question: Would a geothermal project generating heat which is then transported to customers located in a neighbouring Member State be considered as a trans-boundary project?
    Answer: A geothermal project generating heat which is afterwards transported to customers located in a neighbouring Member State would not be considered as a trans-boundary project, when the generation of heat and electricity is intended to take place in a single Member State.

    with FAQ 21:

    Question: Would a geothermal project with parts of the cooling cycle of the power plant located across the national border qualify as trans-boundary project?
    Answer: Yes

    It appears the EC does not realise that the distribution of heat from a geothermal plant is part of its cooling cycle.