Policy: Report on Scaling Up Innovative Technologies for Climate Neutrality

Report analysing 184 demonstrator projects for climate neutrality in energy-intensive European industries.

This report has been written by the Commission’s inter-service Task Force for Demonstrating Climate Neutral Industries by 2030, led by the Directorates-General for Research and Innovation, Climate Action and Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. It provides an overview of innovation demonstration projects (‘demonstrators’) for climate neutrality in energy-intensive industries that had received or were receiving funding from EU instruments by the end of January 2023.

This overview will help to capitalise on the major investments that have been made in demonstrators for decarbonising industries under the EU framework programmes for research and innovation (Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe), the Innovation Fund and other EU programmes, as well as investments made by Member States in Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI). In parallel, international work on clean energy demonstration projects is being pursued under the Clean Energy Technologies Demonstration Challenge.

This report presents an overview of 184 demonstrators of technologies for climate neutrality in energy-intensive industries, which were developed with funding from EU instruments, with a cut-off date of 31 January 2023. They are at various stages of technological maturity, and most have been supported through Horizon Europe, Horizon 2020, the Innovation Fund and by Member States through IPCEIs.

Key findings include:

  • The clear role for each of the EU financial instruments as they support technologies at different maturity levels.
  • Public spending can leverage relatively high private investments especially with mature technologies.
  • Energy efficiency and CCUS technologies have a great potential in all sectors and that more investment into electrification is also needed.
  • Circular technologies are significant in the chemicals industry, while the cement industry focuses on CCUS and energy efficiency.
  • Not all EU countries have such demonstration projects supported by an EU programme, despite the role of energy-intensive industries in their economies.

The report aims to facilitate a discussion on follow-up financing of demonstrators and, as appropriate and needed, their successful entry into operation and technology transfer across Member States and industries. To this end, it will be key to have the commitment of industry, financing institutions and national authorities, supported by the relevant European partnerships, as well as experienced technology transfer entities such as technology infrastructures, cluster organisations, business networks and Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) brokers in the dissemination and exploitation of these results.