Grant programme ‘Decarbonising in Industry’

About the grant programme

The ‘Decarbonising in Industry’ grant programme from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) is supporting energy-intensive industries (EIIs) in Germany in their efforts to achieve carbon neutrality. 

Energy-intensive industries form the backbone of the German economy. The high energy requirements and CO2 emissions required by their processes turns decarbonising these industries into a major challenge. Responsible for around 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in Germany, EIIs are an important part of achieving the German nationally determined contributions (NDCs) for 2030 and its carbon neutrality goal for 2050, as set out by German legislation. 

The BMU is therefore using its ‘Decarbonising in Industry’ grant programme to finance projects in energy-intensive industries that achieve the most comprehensive and permanent reductions to process-related greenhouse gas emissions that are hard or impossible to avoid with the technologies currently available.

The German government is providing funds totalling EUR 2 billion from the Energy and Climate Fund (ECF) for the ‘Decarbonising in Industry’ grant programme.

The BMU has commissioned the Competence Centre on Climate Change Mitigation in Energy-Intensive Industries (KEI), a division of Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH, with the management of the grant programme.

For businesses

In the following section, we provide you with an initial overview of the grant programme. The starting-point is the grant guidance document. Full details of the application process will be made available nearer the time in a grant programme flyer.

What kinds of consulting services are offered?

Advice is available from the project outline onwards. Your main contact here is the KEI. Apart from answering basic questions to do with the funding programme itself, the KEI also works with experts from the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) to advise on technical or subject-specific issues during project outline development and application submission.

Competence Centre on Climate Change Mitigation in Energy-Intensive Industries (KEI)

What is the funding procedure?

Funding is awarded as a grant/investment grant as part of a partial financing procedure (financial donation). The grant itself is limited to a maximum amount. In accordance with ‘Decarbonising in Industry’ guidelines, all grants are awarded as non-repayable donations to finance specific projects. The grant can be awarded based on expected costs or outlay. Grants are conditional on an appropriate contribution by the applicant. Grant amounts are assessed based on the project-related costs eligible for funding.

What is eligible for funding?

Projects in energy-intensive industries with process-related emissions are eligible for funding where these projects aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as effectively and permanently as possible. Funding covers research and development from technology readiness level (TRL) 4, trials conducted in testing or pilot facilities and investments in plant for industrial-scale deployment. These include measures with the following focus:

  • Low-carbon or carbon-neutral manufacturing methods
  • Innovative and high-performance methods for conversion to power-to-X technologies
  • Integrated production processes and innovative combined processes
  • Research, development and trialling of alternatives to products that cause process-related emissions during their manufacture
  • Low-carbon or carbon-neutral manufacturing methods for these alternative products and investments in plant
  • Bridge technologies for making substantial steps towards greenhouse gas neutrality
  • Monitoring and evaluation aimed at success monitoring

Projects for conducting basic research, measures focused on energy and resource efficiency or engineering techniques for lightweight construction are not eligible for funding. Projects for CO2 storage (CCS) and CO2 capture with the aim of subsequent CO2 storage are also not eligible for funding.

Who can submit a grant application?

Companies and consortia of companies working in trade and industry are eligible to submit an application if they meet the following criteria:

  • They belong to a sector that is covered by the scope of EU emissions trading and characteristically produces process-related emissions
  • They are planning or operating plant that is licensed according to the criteria of the Federal Immission Control Act
  • They operate business premises or a branch office in Germany and plan to relocate the funded project to Germany

When managed by a company that is eligible for application, higher education institutions and other research institutions may be involved as project partners, for the implementation of the project – and for accompanying research in particular.

What is the application procedure?

Formal applications to the funding programme complete a two-stage procedure (see diagram below).

First stage

In the first stage, a project outline is submitted, which is then assessed by experts at the KEI and UBA.

Second stage

Following a positive assessment, the second stage then involves the creation and submission of a formal application for project funding. This application is then reviewed and assessed in terms of commercial and legal aspects by the KEI, and in terms of technical aspects by the KEI and UBA. If these assessments are also positive, the BMU then makes a final decision on funding. If the funds applied for exceed the threshold values as per the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER), an individual notification must be submitted for the project to the European Commission.

Project outlines (in German only) can be submitted at any time. Making contact with the KEI beforehand is recommended.

Work on the project must not commence until the project has been officially approved. 

Application procedure