The 22 countries whose ‘recovery and resilience’ spending plans have been approved by the European Commission are set to spend billions on clean energy installations, with the money to be disbursed in three instalments until the end of next year.

The European Commission has revealed that some €17.8 billion of the funding requested by EU member states to fund their recovery from Covid-19 will go towards renewable energy installations, including solar.

The EU executive on Tuesday published a report on the activity of the first year of the huge Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF), worth up to 724 billion euros, made up of grants and loans. Member States to rebuild economies after the pandemic.

With 22 member states’ Covid recovery plans so far approved, the progress report says 12% of the €224 billion requested so far for ‘green transition’ spending – €26.7 billion euros – would be devoted to renewable energy and support networks. Going further, the commission said about two-thirds of this figure would be spent on clean energy plants, with the balance funding facilities such as energy storage and smart grids.

Circular manufacturing

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For example, the approved Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) for Lithuania includes support for farmers and other business interests, as well as citizen energy communities, to install solar and energy storage systems. ‘energy. A list of multi-country RRP projects also included plans for a €100 million electricity interconnector for Cyprus.

Other renewable energy spending included support for faster permits and “enhanced financial support mechanisms”.

Green transportation

Around 32% of the €224 billion in support for the green transition – €71.7 billion – will support sustainable transport, according to the commission document, with the German package offering incentive aid for consumers to buy 560,000 “decarbonized” vehicles and money to fund 50,000 public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and 400,000 EV home chargers.

A further €8.96 billion – 4% of green transition spending claims submitted by the 22 member states whose plans have been approved – will go to circular economy and recycling proposals, and around 1% of the green money will be spent on green jobs. Croatia, for example, has submitted proposals to support green internships with grants; use subsidies to support green jobs, including for the self-employed; and to offer skills vouchers to vulnerable groups and the long-term unemployed.

Some €5.4bn of approved funding plans linked to ‘other’ green transition spending include at least a proposal for ’emission taxes from…industry’, although no further details has not been given.

Other multi-country projects include approved plans for potential “Important Projects of Common European Interest” related to green hydrogen and fleshed out by Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Italy and Portugal.

The summary document only takes into account the €445 billion spending plans that have been approved by the EU to date, including €291 billion in non-repayable grants and €154 billion in loans.

Awaiting Approval

With the EU having stipulated that at least 37% of each member state’s spending should be dedicated to the green transition, the committee said that figure stood at around 40% based on plans approved so far. Hungary, Poland and Sweden have yet to be given the green light for plans they submitted in May and Bulgaria presented their shopping list in October. With Covid recovery money due to be distributed in three stages until the end of next year, the EU has yet to receive a spending plan from the Netherlands.

The commission said €56.6 billion had already been paid to member states in ‘pre-financing’ packages and the first regular payment, of €10 billion, had been received by Spain in December . The EU body said it expects to process around 30 such initial regular payments this year and has already received requests from Greece, France, Italy and Portugal.

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