WindEurope’s Quarterly Newsletter on Funding opportunities and European projects March 2021

News from WindEurope projects

The Corewind team hosted a webinar on 25 February on “Innovations in integrated floating offshore wind systems”. Project partners IREC, WindEurope, the University of Stuttgart, INNOSEA, Ramboll and UPC, and Vestas came together to discuss the latest activities in the project and provided valuable recommendations on how to advance floating wind technology.

The University of Stuttgart and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya introduced the FAST model of the UPC concrete spar floater and the 15 MW IEA WIND reference turbine. INNOSEA spoke about mooring solutions for floating offshore wind turbines and what the Corewind partners have been doing to optimise these systems. Ramboll highlighted opportunities in maintenance strategies for commercial scale floating wind. IREC introduced FowApp, an intuitive application developed by Corewind to be used during early project planning of floating offshore wind farms. Vestas expressed support for the innovative solutions discussed in the Corewind project.

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For more information, contact Sabina Potestio.

About Corewind: The COREWIND project provides disruptive and cost-effective solutions for floating offshore wind technology leading to cost reduction. It is developing innovative research, modelling and optimisation for concrete-based floating substructure concepts.


ETIPWind will organise a workshop focused on “Delivering circularity through innovative materials and recycling technology” on 4 May 2021. With the support of WindEurope’s Sustainability Working Group, it will bring together policymakers, researchers, and industry representatives to debate and shape the future of sustainable wind energy materials. Learn more about the latest development in recycling and the circularity of materials used by wind. 

Further information and registration here.

For more information, contact Raquel Alemañ.

About ETIPWind: ETIPWind works to define and agree on concrete research and innovation (R&I) priorities and communicate these to the European institutions and other decision-making bodies in order to support the EU’s ambition of a decarbonised economy by 2050.

Permitting is today’s main bottleneck for new wind farms. It often takes five years or more for authorities to decide on a permit. These delays add to the costs of developing a wind farm, deter investors and stifle technological innovation.

The RES Simplify project is currently mapping administrative and grid connection procedures across EU Member States and assessing through performance indicators how Member States are doing with regards to these procedures. This exercise looks at the various steps in the permitting process for onshore and offshore installations, use of IT systems, complaint procedures, and specific features to ease administrative steps. WindEurope has supported the assessment, from an effectiveness and efficiency point of view, of total process duration, deadlines, project approval rates, stakeholder involvement, cost and transparency of procedures and other important elements related to permission of new installations in different countries. 

The preliminary project results will be presented for discussion in a workshop hosted by WindEurope on 22 March. We will discuss administrative and grid connection steps in different countries, and barriers to an efficient permitting process across the EU. We will also tackle specific permitting issues for offshore wind installations and EU provisions on permitting for the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive

To register, please click here.

For more information, contact Sabina Potestio.

About RES Simplify: The RES Simplify project is a project funded by the European Commission, addressing permitting of renewable energy. It is coordinated by the Consultancy Eclareon, partnering with Oeko-Institut, WindEurope and SolarPower Europe. The project aims to speed up the permitting process at a national level for new renewable energy projects, including onshore and offshore wind.

Upcoming EU funding opportunities and Research & Innovation policy

The Recovery & Resilience Facility (RRF) regulation came into force on 18 February. It represents an unprecedented EU-level fiscal intervention to revive the European economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Crucially, the objective of the RRF is not to return the EU to business-as-usual, but to lay the foundations for the economy of 2050: greener, more digital, and more competitive.

EU Member States have until 30 April to submit their national Recovery & Resilience Plans for review and approval by the European Commission. These plans will set out how Member States will use the funding and financing available under the RRF to support the transition towards a greener and more sustainable economy.

The RRF Regulation specifies that 37% of €673bn must be used for climate-related spending. And it includes a list of investments that would qualify as such. The lists not only define climate-related spending but also apply a weighting for different forms of climate-related spending. Member States must take those weightings into account when drafting their Recovery and Resilience plans.

When proposing the RRF, the European Commission made clear that recovery funding must “Do No Significant Harm” to the EU’s climate mitigation efforts. Now the Commission has published technical guidance on the application of this principle: measures which contribute to “significant” greenhouse gas emissions may not be funded under the RRF.

The technical guidance and other supporting documents can be found here.

Look at our infographic on “Making the most of EU’s recovery and resilience facility“. 

For rolling updates on the instruments and budget, please visit our WindEurope website

If you have a project that wants to benefit from funding, contact Sabina Potestio.

The European Parliament approved the InvestEU programme in March, ahead of its official launch on 18 March. The new programme will establish an EU guarantee of about €26.2bn, primarily to de-risk loans from the European Investment Bank. The envelope will be allocated according to four objectives:

  • Sustainable infrastructure: €9.9bn
  • Research, innovation and digitalisation: €6.6bn
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises: €6.9bn
  • Social investment and skills: €2.8bn
All four policy areas will include projects to support the just transition towards climate neutrality in the EU. And at least 30% of the investments under InvestEU should contribute to meeting the EU’s climate objectives. Investment projects that receive EU support will be screened to determine they do no significant harm to the environment.

For more information, contact Josh Gartland.

The European Commission is finalising the Horizon Europe work programme 2021-2022 for Climate, Energy & Mobility. We expect close to €1.8bn for energy R&D in 2021-2022. 40% of that could go to renewables, and could include some dedicated topics on onshore wind, recycling and materials research.

There will also be significant funding for developing Multiterminal Multi-Vendor (MTMV) HVDC platforms. These will play an important role for the deployment of offshore wind. And these were highlighted as a research and innovation priority in the EU’s offshore renewable strategy.

The first calls are expected to open on 15 April. 

For more information, contact Alexander Vandenberghe.

The Innovation Fund is the EU’s largest funding programme for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies. It aims to bring to the market industrial solutions that will deliver the transition towards climate neutrality.

The European Commission is reviewing the 311 applications to the first call for large-scale projects. The best 70 projects will be invited to submit a more detailed application by 23 June 2021. The final results will be announced in the autumn. The first grants will be signed by December 2021.

On 26 February, the European Commission organised an event to discuss the importance of knowledge-sharing for such projects, and to learn from the experiences of the NER 300 programme, the predecessor of the Innovation Fund. Experts from the “Veja Mate”, a 402 MW offshore wind farm in the German North Sea, which received over €100m in funding from NER 300, showed how knowledge was shared between the wind energy projects. The European Commission cited the wind sector as a shining example of how to share useful knowledge without disclosing any sensitive information.

For more information, you can watch the full webinar here.

The next call for large-scale projects (with a capital expenditure above €7.5m) is expected to open in September this year. The Commission still needs to decide whether the call will have a two-stage or a one-stage application process. It will have a budget of at least €1bn.

For more information, contact Alexander Vandenberghe or Ivan Pineda.

The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament have reached a provisional agreement on the second edition of the Connecting Europe Facility (2021-227).

The Connecting Europe Facility will continue to fund key projects in the areas of energy, transport and digital with an overall budget of €33.7bn (in current prices). The budget will be allocated as follows:

  • Transport: €25.81bn
  • Digital: €2.06bn
  • Energy: €5.84bn

CINEA, the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (the new INEA) will manage the transport and energy area.

For the energy sector, the programme aims to support the integration of the European energy market, improve the interoperability of energy networks across borders and sectors, facilitate decarbonisation and ensure security of supply. Funding will also be available for cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy generation.

CEF 2 will also emphasise synergies (synergy calls) between the transport, energy and digital sectors, to enhance the effectiveness of EU action and minimise implementation costs. It will promote cross-sectoral work in areas such as connected and automated mobility and alternative fuels.

Next steps:

Once adopted by both the Council and the European Parliament, the CEF regulation will enter into force the day after its publication in the EU Official Journal. It will apply retroactively from 1 January 2021.

For more information, contact Sabina Potestio.

The brand new LIFE programme starting this year (2021-2027) has much more to offer to the wind energy sector!

The new LIFE programme will cover the areas of nature and biodiversity, circular economy and quality of life, climate change mitigation and adaptation and clean energy transition. The Clean Energy Transition sub-programme of LIFE will be a continuation of the market uptake activities, previously funded under Horizon 2020. The clean energy transition sub-programme will aim to support the objectives of EU policies and regulation in the transition towards a decarbonised energy system and decarbonised economy. It will include capacity building and dissemination of knowledge, new skills, and innovative techniques in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The co-financing rate for projects will amount to 60%, so projects will need to find the remaining funding from other sources.

A call for project proposals is expected to be launched in late spring this year. The deadline for applications is provisionally set for autumn with the following project proposal timeline:

  • Launch of call: late spring 2021
  • Deadline for applications: autumn 2021
  • Evaluation: 2021/2022
  • Signature of grants: second half of 2022

All online information sessions for applicants will take place around June 2021.

For more information, contact Sabina Potestio.

 Other news

The new European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency – CINEA will replace the existing INEA – Innovation and Networks Executive Agency as of 1 April 2021. INEA has been implementing the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), Horizon 2020 and Innovation Fund programmes.

The new Agency will look at supporting a sustainable, green and decarbonised Europe.

It will continue to follow the implementation of existing projects but will also start implementing additional 2021-2027 programmes. It will:

  • Continue managing CEF energy and Transport & Innovation Fund;
  • Add climate action to its portfolio under Horizon Europe;
  • Take on the LIFE programme and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (previously managed by EASME). LIFE will have a new clean energy transition sub-programme (see the LIFE section above); and
  • Manage the new EU renewable energy financing mechanism. The mechanism will pool financial contributions from all EU countries to fund competitive tenders. It will ensure teh EU will reach its collective target of 32% renewable energy by 2030.
For more information, contact Sabina Potestio.

Are you part of a European or national research project and are looking to promote it? Would you like to attract new partners and disseminate your results? Look no further – we have the perfect solution for you. WindEurope’s Innovation Park is a pavilion designed to promote projects’ research and findings, and will feature at Electric City 2021 in Copenhagen (23-25 November). The goal of the pavilion is to provide high-profile visibility on the exhibition floor to projects, giving partners access to greater publicity and networking opportunities.

Benefits include:

  • Your own exhibition space;
  • a speaking slot on the Innovation Park stage;
  • a printed logo on your exhibition space;
  • entry in the exhibitor list;
  • social media coverage; and
  • 2 Exhibitor staff passes (lunch included).

For more information, contact Tanguy Grandjean.

Legal notice: The views represented in this newsletter are those of its authors and do not represent the views or official position of the European Commission.

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