The EU commission on Wednesday granted 1.5 billion euros (2.2 billion dollars) to offshore wind farms and carbon capture and storage schemes to help relaunch Europe's economy and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
"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," EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said, adding that it would also "give a push to the economy and employment."
Six carbon capture and storage schemes (CCS) -- in Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain -- will share a billion euros of the money.
These schemes to bury polluting carbon emissions "will be the first six CCS projects in the world," Piebalgs added proudly of the technology which is in its infancy.
Individual European nations and the private sector are also welcome to help fund such schemes which the European Union hopes will become viable propositions by 2020.
"It's important to start," said Piebalgs. A successful conclusion to UN climate talks ongoing in Copenhagen will help make carbon capture and storage development "much, much faster," he added.
The nine offshore wind power projects, in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, will share 562 million euros.
Several of these are German projects with Belgian, British, Danish and Swedish interests also involved.
Some of the projects cross sea borders, such as the interconnection of German, Swedish and Danish wind farms in the Baltic, linking up the national grids.
The money comes from a four billion euro EU reserve fund set up in May for energy projects to help relaunch Europe's economy.
The EU has also pledged to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels.
Many other candidate projects failed to secure funding on Friday.
(c) 2009 AFP
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