European Commission Pledges €1.5 Billion for CCS, Offshore Wind Projects

In a “push” to the economy and employment, the European Commission today granted €1 billion to six carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects and €565 million to nine offshore wind energy projects.
The CCS projects include Vattenfall’s planned CCS demonstration power plant at Jänschwalde in Brandenburg, which will receive up to €180m of funding. That project proposes to demonstrate oxyfuel and postcombustion technology on an existing power plant site by 2015. Two storage and transport options will also be analyzed.

Vattenfall estimates the investment cost for the 385-MW plant is €1.5 billion. It is expected to capture well over 90% (up to 2.7 million metric tons per year) of carbon dioxide produced by the coal plant. The plant will be a follow-up to a CCS pilot plant at Schwarze Pumpe in eastern Germany, which the company recently announced has been able to capture CO2 emissions with a purity level of 99.4% since opening in September 2008.

Other CCS projects include ENEL’s Porto-Tolle project, E.ON’s Rotterdam project, PGE’s Belchatow project, ENDESA’s Compostilla project, and Powerfuel Power’s Hatfield project. All but the Porto-Tolle project will receive up to €180 million in funding; the ENEL project will receive up to €100 million.

Among the wind projects are two that will demonstrate the grid integration of offshore wind energy. The funding will contribute to the development of new turbines, structures, and components as well as the optimization of manufacturing capacities for the remaining projects.

The decision on the 15 projects is the first on the use of the €4 billion set aside by the EU in May 2009 for energy projects to support economic recovery. Those funds were also earmarked for an expansion of the union’s electricity infrastructure. Procedures for infrastructure projects are reportedly ongoing, with a decision expected in February 2010.

The commission said that by promoting CCS technology, it recognized “the importance of fossil fuelled power and the need to adapt to a low carbon energy system.” The offshore wind energy projects would “enhance the development and consolidation of a competitive offshore wind industry in Europe,” it said.

Source: European Commission, Vattenfall

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