EU financial support can be devided between funding - based on grants - and financing - based on loans and guarantees -
1. European Structural and Investment Funds (ERDF, ESF, Cohesion Fund)
Alternative fuels can be supported by the ESI funds in accordance to the following objectives and articles:
- Thematic Objective 7 "Sustainable transport" aims at promoting sustainable transport and removing bottlenecks by investing in TEN-T, environment-friendly and low-carbon transport systems and interoperable railway systems;
- Thematic Objective 4 "Low-carbon economy" aims at supporting a shift towards a low-carbon economy by promoting low-carbon strategies, incl. sustainable urban mobility;
- Article 7 of the EBRD regulation also foresees support to sustainable urban development through strategies for integrated action.
24 Member States are benefiting, including all 15 cohesion countries.
The ESI funds are managed in a decentralized way: the Commission and the Member States develop Partnership Agreements on national level and Operational Programmes on thematic level. The funds are then managed by a specific Managing Authority in each Member State. In addition, cities can spend directly 5% of the funds on urban development.
Project promoters should contact the Managing Authorities in the countries where they wish to develop projects, to find out about the concrete opportunities in these countries.
The JASPERS programme gives technical assistance to prepare high quality major projects to be financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds in the new Member States (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Slovakia).
JASPERS focuses on major projects with total eligible cost exceeding €75 million.
JASPERS' assistance may cover project preparation, independent quality review of project, capacity building including a Competence Centre and implementation of the projects.
Project promoters with projects in one of the 15 new Member States should contact JASPERS directly.
For more info: http://www.jaspers-europa-info.org/
3. Horizon 2020 - "Smart, Green and Integrated Transport"
Under Horizon2020, the EU Research Framework Programme, all projects require cooperation between minimum 3 countries.
The part called "Mobility For Growth" is actually the CIVITAS initiative, consisting of city-led demonstration projects, knowledge-generating projects and horizontal support projects.
For 2017, calls will open in 2016 for knowledge-generating projects for:
- Increasing the take-up and scale-up of innovative solutions
- Supporting smart electric mobility
- Innovative approaches for integrating urban nodes
Project promoters should follow up the calls and can also browse calls under other topics such as "Green Vehicles".InnovFin is available to support with a set of financial instruments covering innovative SMEs, mid-caps and large corporate.
For more info: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/smart-green-and-integrated-transport, http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020 and http://www.eib.org/products/blending/innovfin/
4. Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funds for TEN-T projects
The TEN-T forms the backbone of the European transport system with nine corridors across the EU.
Since 2014, there is specific financing for the "urban nodes" i.e. the cities on the core network. There is also financing for alternative fuels under "innovation" when the projects are located outside of urban nodes.
Project promoters should follow up the calls.
5. European Energy Efficiency Fund
This is an investment fund focusing on energy efficiency, small-scale renewable energy, and clean urban transport projects.
It is targeting municipal, local and regional authorities and public and private entities acting on behalf of those authorities.
Project promoters should contact the EEEF directly.
For more info: http://www.eeef.eu/home.html
6. LIFE programme
LIFE is the EU financing instrument for the environment and climate action.
The 2014-2017 work programme includes a thematic priority on "Air quality and emissions, including the urban environment".
Calls are published regularly. Project promoters should follow up the calls.
7. Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint UndertakingThe European Commission, the Industry and the Research institutions finance the development of hydrogen as a transport fuel and a source of energy. Calls are published regularly. Project promoters should follow up the calls. For more info: http://www.fch.europa.eu/
8. Innovative actions in sustainable urban developmentTests new approaches to the challenges faced by cities via pilot projects. Projects are selected through calls for proposals. Project promoters should follow up future calls related to urban mobility and clean air. For more info: http://www.uia-initiative.eu/
9. INTERREG Europe 2014-2020Co-finances projects where public authorities from different regions work together for 3 to 5 years on a shared policy issue. Regular calls are launched. Project promoters should follow up the calls. For more info: http://www.interreg4c.eu/interreg-europe
10. URBACT IIICo-finances the creation of networks of cities from different regions to develop integrated solutions to common urban challenges, by learning from one another. The first call for the creation of up to 20 Action Planning Networks was open in 2015. Other calls will be open in the coming years. Project promoters should follow up the calls. For more info: http://www.urbact.eu and http://www.urbact.eu/open-calls-networks
1. European Investment Bank loans and guarantees
The EIB offers either direct loans and guarantees for large-scale projects (> 25 million Euros) or intermediated loans and guarantees for small and medium-scale projects, in that case via national and regional intermediary banks.
Project promoters should contact the EIB directly or via their bank depending on the size of their projects.
2. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)
It consists in a €21 billion guarantee from the Commission and the EIB. This guarantee allows increasing EIB's lending capacity with €60 billion for more risky projects, which in turn gives extra assurance to other public and private investors, resulting in an extra financing capacity of €255 billion. The total extra investment capacity in the EU economy is thus €315 billion.
Project promoters can partner and group their projects to be more attractive in terms of scale. They should engage with the EIB and the National Promotional Banks to benefit from the EFSI. An Advisory Hub has been created and regional hubs are likely to be created in the future: http://www.eib.org/eiah/index.htm. There is also FI-Compass advisory service: http://www.fi-compass.eu. A website will be set up in 2016 for matching projects and investors.
Project promoters should make direct contacts with the Advisory Hub, the EIB or their National Promotional Bank.
The ELENA programme covers up to 90% of the technical cost to prepare large energy efficiency and renewables projects. This can helps get financing especially from private investors.
Project promoters should contact ELENA directly.
For more info: http://www.eib.org/products/advising/elena/index.htm
COSME is Europe's programme for SMEs. It provides equity, loans and guaruantees for SMEs.
It also helps SMEs access markets in the EU and beyond via the Enterprise Europe Network that helps them find business partners and understand EU legislation, the Your Europe Business portal that provides practical information on doing business within Europe and the SME Internationalisation Portal for companies who want to develop their activities outside Europe.
Calls are published regularly.
For more info: https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/cosme