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Commission approves €1,5 billion for energy projects

The Commission approved 15 energy projects which will significantly contribute to the economic recovery of the EU, while increasing our security of energy supply and substantially reduce CO2 emissions. With today's decision, the Commission grants €1 billion to six Carbon Capture and Storage projects and €565 million to nine offshore wind energy projects.

Energy Commissioner Piebalgs said: "With this decision the Commission has laid the foundation for the development of two key sustainable technologies that will be essential in our fight against climate change. This unique decision by the Commission does not only give a push to the economy and employment, but also it supports innovative energy technologies that may create further jobs and growth in the future."

By promoting the technology of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) the Commission recognizes the continued importance of fossil fuelled power and the need to adapt to a low carbon energy system. The offshore wind energy projects enhance the development and consolidation of a competitive offshore wind industry in Europe and create numerous green jobs.

These award winning innovative energy technology projects will contribute in reaching the binding targets of greenhouse gas emission reduction and renewables by 2020 and beyond.

The decision on these 15 projects is the first step towards the good use of almost €4 billion set aside by the EU in May 2009 for energy projects to support economic recovery. The landmark agreement on the European Energy Programme for Recovery in May foresaw Union financial assistance to energy projects in the fields of CCS, offshore wind energy and gas and electricity infrastructure. The procedures for the infrastructure projects are still ongoing. The decision is expected to be taken in February 2010. (EC)