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.’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.