The European Commission has approved €28 billion for the US-led Clean Energy demonstration challenge, to support the commercialisation of new technologies and accelerate the energy transition.

The clean energy challenge was launched by US President Joe Biden in June, with a promise of $90 billion of public funding from 2022 to 2026, as part of a broader effort to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The EU’s contribution comes from the Horizon Europe research programme, the Innovation Fund and InvestEU.

The public money is expected to pull in private investment to accelerate the deployment of large-scale clean energy technology demonstration projects for sectors such as steel making, that find it particularly hard to wean themselves off fossil fuels.

Alongside the European Commission, governments contributing to the challenge include Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates and the UK.

Affordable clean energy

The Commission wants to cut its reliance on fossil fuels through programmes including the Hydrogen Strategy and REPowerEU, whilst at the same time increasing energy security in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The green economy is also expected to deliver new jobs. “The clean energy transition has serious potential for job creation and the economy,” said Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for jobs, speaking at the forum. To make the transition “fair and inclusive”, he said, “the answer lies in investing heavily and immediately in quality jobs, income support, affordable services and above all [in] skills.”

Source: Science Business