The fourth annual information event of the NER 300 programme took place on 15 December 2017 in Brussels. The event was split into a public morning session on "Financing opportunities for low-carbon demonstration projects" and afternoon session for NER 300 project sponsors and the national contact points from EU Member States.
Peter Wehrheim (Head of Unit, DG CLIMA) opened the morning session and welcomed the participants. He gave an overview of the general EU Climate and Energy Framework and the current progress towards the 2030 climate targets. Petra Sarapatkova (DG CLIMA) explained briefly the financing opportunities stemming from NER300 unspent funds. Christos Smyrnakis (EIB) presented the InnovFin Energy Demonstration Projects instrument, which provides loans, loan guarantees or equity-type financing to innovative demonstration projects in the fields of energy. Stefan Klett (Veja Mate) presented the Veja Mate project, an offshore wind farm in the North Sea, supported by NER 300. The wind farm entered into operation during 2017 and will supply green electricity enough to cover the consumption of 400 000 households. Stefan Klett outlined the key milestones of the project and the main challenges that had to be overcome during planning and construction. Rob van der Meij (Capricorn Venture Partners) shared his reflections on the role of venture capital for innovative technologies. He highlighted the fact that venture capitalists invest in order to sell and not to operate a project or technology. In his view, the main elements that are needed in order to create an environment that supports venture capital investments in low-carbon energy technologies are: a stable and reliable regulatory framework regulatory, enabling infrastructure and a strong carbon price. The morning concluded with discussion with all participants.
In the afternoon, the closed session informed the NER 300 community about the current state-of-play of the programme and outline the future milestones. Administrative matters were also discussed. The session started with the highlights from the Austrian wind project Handalm optimised for mountainous areas presented by Christopher Lamport (BMLFUW) which also entered into operation in 2017. The project (a 39 MW windfarm at an altitude of about 1800 m) successfully overcame several challenges: the need for a long cable connection given its remote location, difficult terrain for installation and rough weather conditions. Project sponsors and national contact points gave an update of the current status of their projects. Next, the projects shared knowledge on three important topics: permitting, reaching FID, involvement of local stakeholders. Tobias Griesshaber (NordseeOne project), Venizelos Efthymiou and Mathias Wiemann (both EOS Green Energy) shared experiences from their projects. Andreas Uihlein (DG JRC) presented the current knowledge sharing and dissemination activities and the future approach on how to include non-NER 300 projects in the knowledge sharing facility of NER 300. Peter Wehrheim (DG CLIMA) closed the event and reminded everyone of the most important deadlines.