NER300 is the name for an instrument offering grants to installations of innovative renewable energy projects, grid integration projects and up to 12 CCS projects (projects for capturing and storing carbon dioxide from power generation using fossil fuels or primary industry). The Council and European Parliament made the decision to create it in their revision of the Emissions Trading Directive in autumn 2008. The grants will be obtained by selling up to 300 million carbon allowances (rights to emit one tonne of CO2) on the carbon market. The carbon allowances are taken from the New Entrants’ Reserve, a set-aside amount of allowances that can be granted to new companies starting up in an activity that entitles them to free allocation of allowances under Phase III of the Emissions Trading Scheme. The money from two thirds of the 300 million allowances will be made available to finance projects selected from a first call for proposals (deadline for submission of proposals 9 Feb 2011), with the remainder disbursed following a second call.

Categories of renewable energy technology that are eligible for support have been defined (biofuels, concentrating solar power, photovoltaics, geothermal, wind, ocean, hydropower) in Annex I A II of the NER300 Decision. Included with them is one additional category concerning the integration into the grid of renewable electricity capacity. These categories have been split further into up to 9 subcategories, each containing a topic eligible for funding.