Breakthrough Energy Catalyst for emerging climate technology projects

Established in 2015 by Bill Gates and a coalition of private investors, Breakthrough Energy Catalyst (BEC) aims to support innovations that go beyond the state of the art to deliver on the global net-zero emissions goal. Are you convinced your innovation or project can offer a valuable contribution to this goal? Then discover the funding opportunities of Breakthrough Energy Catalyst.

Partnering up with the EU

Breakthrough Energy Catalyst, the European Commission (EC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a Public Private partnership (PPP) on 2 November 2021. There will be a budget of € 840 million to accelerate the deployment and rapid commercialisation of innovative clean technologies. Projects must focus on one of the four areas mentioned below to realise reduced emissions in these hard-to-decarbonize sectors:

  • Clean Hydrogen
  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel
  • Direct Air Capture
  • Long Duration Energy Storage

Who can apply?

Profit companies or consortia, non-profit organisations and educational institutions are all welcome to submit a proposal. However, participation is limited to parties registered in the EU, Iceland, Norway or countries with which the EU has an association agreement in relation to Horizon Europe and InvestEU. US and UK companies can apply via separate RFPs.

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What kind of projects are eligible?

Your proposed project must demonstrate that it is:

  • A commercially viable project that can provide significant reduction of carbon and/or greenhouse gases in one of BEC’s four target technologies (Clean Hydrogen, Long Duration Energy Storage, Sustainable Aviation Fuel, Direct Air Capture);
  • In need of catalytic capital not currently available through other financing mechanisms;
  • Using technology that has already been proven in pilot scale conditions;
  • Expected to have achieved commercial operation no later than December 2030 but preferably by the end of 2027;
  • That the project does not result in higher carbon emissions during any day, month or year of operation compared to fossil equivalent resources.

The request for proposals is expected to remain open for submissions on a rolling basis until 31 December 2027 (RFP Close Date) or until all BEC funds are fully committed. Projects wanting to receive funding by the first half of 2023 should aim to apply by the 13th of May 2022. Selected projects will receive initial feedback between June and September and will be expected to give pitch presentations. Notification of final selection is anticipated by the end of November 2022 at the latest.

Types of available funding

Accepted projects will be able to receive funding in the following forms;

  • Equity investment: minority investment into a project that will be more risk tolerant and at a lower investment rate of return than traditional equity investors (BEC’s preferred investment tool)
  • Grant funding: non-dilutive funds that do not require repayment to BEC
  • Offtake agreement: agreements that will be negotiated between BEC partners directly with project developers for the purchase of project output

How much funding will projects receive?

BEC intends to provide minimum funding per project of € 10 million in investments/grants. The EC and EIB contributions are not reflected in this amount. There is no upper limit to the funding amount however, the amount of funding is limited by the stipulation that BEC/EC will not acquire a majority position in the selected projects. Projects receiving funding from BEC will also be eligible for additional financial support from the InvestEU programme. Through this blended funding instrument, combining BEC funding with EC/EIB as well as additional private and public funding, BEC hopes to leverage 5 – 10x multiple of the initial BEC funding per project.

More information

Would you like to learn more about Breakthrough Energy Catalyst and the funding opportunities it has to offer? Feel free to contact us for a one-on-one meeting with one of our specialists! They would be pleased to inform you of the funding possibilities for your project or organisation.

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Or call us directly: 088 495 20 00


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