InvestEU will provide crucial support to physical and human capital investment, especially to recover from the pandemic and to promote the EU's policy priorities, such as making the EU climate neutral by 2050 and achieving its digital transition. It is a centrally managed EU programme composed of the InvestEU Fund, InvestEU Advisory Hub, and InvestEU portal. The InvestEU Fund is expected to mobilise more than €372 billion of public and private investment through an EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion that backs the investment of financial partners such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group and others.
Building on the successful programme of the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI, Junker Plan), a budgetary guarantee provided by the Union and rated Triple A should facilitate access to finance for riskier projects and leverage private investments. InvestEU is a demand-driven instrument with a reinforced policy steer in 4 main policy areas
- sustainable infrastructure
- research, innovation and digitalisation
- social investments and skills, across the EU
InvestEU is managed indirectly, which means that the Commission will negotiate mandates with financial partners to deploy the EU guarantee available. The EIB Group is the main financial partner and is expected to deliver on 75% of the EU guarantee. The remaining 25% of available budget will be shared between other implementing partners once selected by the Commission. To select them, the Commission launched a first call for expression of interest in April 2021.
The quality and impact of the application will be assessed on the basis of the information provided in the application. Given that the InvestEU fund is partly financed from NextGenerationEU resources, the selected implementing partners under this first call will have to approve financing and investment operations by 31 December 2023.
As a result of the evaluation process, 18 implementing partners were selected, based on their financial products proposal, to start negotiations on a guarantee agreement.
In addition, InvestEU foresees EU country compartments, which allows ring fencing financing at the level of the contributing EU countries or its regions.
EU countries can contribute to the EU countries compartment using RRF resources and/or transfer shared management funds.
The InvestEU Advisory Hub will complement the InvestEU Fund by supporting the identification, preparation and development of investment projects across the European Union. The InvestEU Portal will provide a database of investment opportunities available in the EU and aims to boost the project’s visibility to a large network of international investors.
What type of hydrogen related actions can be funded
Investments in clean hydrogen are eligible as part of the main policy priority under the InvestEU fund, in particular under the sustainable infrastructure window. This window includes a wide range of policy targeted areas, such as
- clean and sustainable transport modes
- the development of the energy system, specifically for renovation of buildings focused on energy savings, and the integration of buildings into a connected energy source
- improvement of energy infrastructure interconnection levels
- equipment and deployment of innovative technologies that contribute to environmental climate resilience
InvestEU could provide repayable support for projects targeting the use of low-carbon gas, including clean hydrogen production, supply (at commercial scale), and on-site storage to develop the energy sector, as well as the deployment of low carbon technologies. Support may also be given for the deployment for all modes of transport of recharging and refuelling infrastructure for electricity, hydrogen, and liquefied or compressed natural gas blended highly with bio-methane (>50%). Investments in infrastructuresupporting the production or use of hydrogen are considered as critical infrastructure under the InvestEU fund.
For further details on the type of projects that might receive funding from InvestEU, you can consult the policy window section of the InvestEU investment guidelines.
InvestEU is addressed to economically viable projects, both private and public, in areas where there are market failures or investment gaps along with high-risk projects in specific areas. It can potentially cater for various types of financial support depending on the hydrogen project profile and the stage of the project life cycle. Support may be possible in the innovation/demonstration stage, or in already proven technological solutions at deployment stage, or eventually even equity type investments. Furthermore, the InvestEU Advisory Hub could support potential project applicants seeking advisory support on access to finance from one of the financial (implementing) partners under the InvestEU or from other financial envelopes.
Type of recipients are public and private investors and project promoters, small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-caps service providers and recipients of micro-finance.
The funds are allocated under the indirect management scheme through the European Investment Bank Group (75% of the guarantee) and other implementing partners. The InvestEU fund may provide funding in the form of grants and loans.
Example(s) of selected projects
Project Title: Belgium: EU supports ArcelorMittal with EUR 75m EIB loan to scale up breakthrough technology to reduce carbon emissions
Description: The European Investment Bank (EIB), with the support of the European Commission under InnovFin Demo Energy project has granted a €75 million loan to ArcelorMittal for the construction of two ground-breaking projects at ArcelorMittal Ghent in Belgium, to reduce carbon emissions by converting waste and by-products into valuable new products, helping to develop low-carbon steelmaking technologies, in line with the EU’s climate objectives.
The projects include Steelanol, a €165 million industrial-scale demonstration plant, that will capture waste gases (carbon and hydrogen) from the blast furnace to biologically convert them into recycled-carbon ethanol, the first commercial product of ArcelorMittal’s Carbalyst family of recycled carbon chemicals. The ethanol produced can be blended for use as a liquid fuel. The technology was developed by LanzaTech, with whom ArcelorMittal has entered a long-term partnership, together with Primetals and E4tech.
EU contribution: Not available
Level of EU funding: Not available
Description: The Hydrogen Council, a global initiative of CEOs representing energy, transport, and industry organisations advocating for the accelerated deployment of hydrogen solutions, and the European Investment Bank (EIB), one of the world’s largest providers of climate finance, signed a landmark agreement to collaborate on the development of innovative schemes to finance hydrogen projects to address climate change. Under this partnership delivered through the InnovFin Advisory programme, EIB will provide strategic financial advice and support to companies preparing to deploy large-scale hydrogen projects, making such solutions more readily available to consumers around the world.
EU contribution: Not available
Level of EU funding: Not available
Database of examples
Not available yet