EC (Kerstin) is willing to allow projects flexibility on the requirement to generate at least 75% of the energy they bid to generate in their first five (10 for CCS) years of operation in order to get 100% of their Award.
She said, “If a majority of projects find that, 2-3 years after their entry into operation, they are not on track to generate 75% of the amount they bid for technical reasons, the EC might be prepared to look again at the rule.”
EC proposes an annual NER300 conference in Brussels every autumn to showcase funded projects. Also (Andreas): EC presentations at “conference like EWEA or the biomass conference” and “this year there will be presentations at the SET Plan conference in Rome (10-11 December).”
Best questions so far
What if, in the case of upfront funding, the MS can’t recover Award money from the PS and the PS is not entitled under NER300 rules to keep money it has already been paid?
EC confirms (Kerstin): “The MS is still liable towards the EIB to repay the money.”
Relevant costs: how will the EC check the relevant costs at FID?
If the RC are less than the ones quoted in the application, the EC may need to reduce the award. EC (Lorenzo): “We are confident that the relevant costs as identified at the time of the selection process [i.e. quoted in the application] are the ones that will apply at FID.”
Best new info
EC (Kerstin): “Up to half of projects in the first call would have not been able to reach FID and therefore would have lost entitlement to their Award if we had not extended the deadlines“.
Reporting MWh production
The EC is prepared to be flexible in the reporting deadlines as these are “not laid down in the Award Decision”. The questioner used the example of a national grid operator that fails, by the start of Year N+1, to report the electricity fed into the grid in year N. This info is necessary to calculate the NER300 award disbursement to the project.
Award Decision amendments
Amendments to Award Decisions collected throughout the year by EC, EC bundles them into one leglislative procedure done once a year. Suggestion that a deadline might be March for the procedure completed by June.
DG CLIMA will hold a ‘Second NER300 Information Event’ on NER300 on 20 October. The invitation and programme sent to the Member States is here.
The morning session will be taken up with a series of presentations similar to those given to First Call awardees and their host Member States on 10 April 2012. One difference will be that the thinking on ‘Knowledge Sharing’ obligations is now much more advanced than it was in 2012, with DG CLIMA having published (here) the templates of Knowledge Sharing collection forms and preliminary details of the techniques it will use to obfuscate the knowledge shared. Also key deadlines have been extended.
Five representatives from associations linked to CCS, wind, ocean energy and biomass and one NGO have been invited to join in the afternoon for ‘Session II: Exchange of experiences and views on NER 300’. DG CLIMA took the position that only renewable energy associations representing particular technologies are eligible to attend, as opposed to associations having a more general view. No webstream will be available.
The renewable energy associations will push for another NER300-type programme, beginning before 2020 if possible.
***UPDATE 19 November 2014: The amendment extending the deadlines***
***UPDATE 20 October 2014: adopted unanimously***
***UPDATE 15 October 2014: Reuters reports the Climate Change Committee approved DG CLIMA’s proposal***
DG CLIMA — pending a vote in the Climate Change Committee on 15 October
— is to push back NER300’s deadlines by two years.
For a project awarded in the First Round (i.e. selected for award in Dec 2012), the deadlines applicable to
- Dec 2014 (final investment decision, receiving all permits, State Aid clearance) will be extended to 31 December 2016.
- Dec 2016 (date of entry into operation) will be pushed to 31 December 2018, with an obligation to generate at least some renewable energy in the year that follows. For this extension, notification of the EC by the Member State hosting the project is required.
The EC says, “The extension of time-limits would apply to any project under the first and second calls,” implying that two-year extensions will be available to second call projects, too.