As the climate crisis becomes an increasingly pressing concern across the globe, new and innovative solutions are needed to combat its challenges. The EU is committed to helping develop and raise awareness of such solutions. I am proud to announce that CarbFix and ON Power, subsidiaries of Reykjavik Energy, will benefit from a 3.9 million EUR (~600 million ISK) grant from the EU’s Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for innovative low-carbon technologies. Managed by the EU’s climate and environmental agency (CINEA), it will allocate approximately 20 billion EUR for the period of 2020 to 2030 to support carbon reduction projects in energy-intensive sectors, renewable energy generation and energy storage. Big flagship projects, as well as small-scale projects from EU member states, Norway and Iceland, are eligible.
Since 2007, Carbfix has pioneered a novel technique of rapid underground mineralization to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, transforming carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide into underground stone within two years. One of the central targets of the European Green Deal – a sweeping set of policy initiatives to make Europe climate neutral by 2050 – is to achieve a significant reduction of greenhouse gases by 2030. The newest EU legislation package, Fit for 55, aims for a 55 per cent reduction and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies are key for reaching this goal.
This is the first time an Icelandic project has received funding from the Innovation Fund. Additionally, it is one of the largest grants received for a climate-related initiative in Iceland. The focus of this particular grant is to improve current CCS capabilities at Hellisheiði Geothermal Plant. Called the Silverstone project, the funds will be used to create a larger and more powerful plant to be commissioned in 2025. The replication potential of Carbix technology goes beyond the geothermal sector and can also be applied to steel, cement, ammonia and waste management industries across the EU.
In addition to clean energy, the EU is committed to moving towards sustainable agriculture, eliminating pollution, and strengthening biodiversity so Europe can become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. I believe the partnership between Carbfix, ON Power and the Innovation Fund is an excellent example of the necessary cooperation needed to achieve this goal – not only does it demonstrate the strong and mutually beneficial relationship between Iceland and the EU, but is an important step to creating a healthier planet for all.
Lucie Samcová - Hall Allen, Ambassador of the European Union to Iceland