The European Commission’s proposed renewable energy financing mechanism would enable wealthier EU nations to fund clean energy projects in poorer neighbors rich in solar potential.

EU member states have until March 15 to decide whether they want to participate in the European Commission‘s bloc-wide renewables auction tender program.

Under the terms of the renewable energy financing mechanism, reported on by pv magazine in late 2020, member states can take part either as “contributors” to the system, who will pay into a central pot to fund renewables projects, or as “host” nations, who agree to have the projects commissioned in their territory.

pv magazine print edition

In this month’s edition, pv magazine takes a deep dive into the world of electromobility, with 22 pages of analysis taking in the market growth and expectations for electric vehicles (EVs) worldwide; how electricity networks will need to grow and adapt to make room for the electrification of transport; and the vital role for solar in all of this. We examine the growing trend for residential and commercial EV chargers linked to PV and optimized to make the most of solar kilowatt-hours, and take a look at some of the early movers working on vehicle-integrated PV – from solar sunroofs to full integration in vehicle bodywork. We also consider a range of e-mobility applications, from commercial trucks to family cars to electric bikes and other “last mile” delivery vehicles.

The commission in December invited member states to express an interest in joining the scheme.

Under the proposed program, member-state public money supplied by contributor nations to the fund would secure 80% of the emissions avoided by the electricity generated by the projects towards their own national greenhouse gas reduction targets. The emission reductions embodied by the remaining 20% of project output would be accredited to the national climate plans of the host nations of clean power sites.

The commission intends to pool the money raised and hold an EU-wide renewable energy tender across the interested host nations with the most competitive grant prices offered securing project development in the relevant countries. Private-sector contributions to the central fund – made by companies to secure renewable energy guarantees of origin to align with corporate climate pledges – would be accepted but private and EU-funded clean power projects would have their energy output counted only towards the bloc’s climate goals, not to that of member states in which they are hosted.

Solar is one of the renewable energy technologies which can be allocated generation capacity under the plan, alongside wind power; geothermal; wave and ocean; hydro; biomass; landfill gas; biogas; sewage treatment plant gas; and ambient energy projects – featuring naturally-occurring thermal energy, such as hot springs.

The renewable energy financing mechanism would be implemented by the commission and its subordinate body the European climate, infrastructure and environment executive agency.