Energy Policy, Vol 117, 2018, pp. 100-107
This article takes stock of the world's largest low-carbon technology demonstration programme – the EU's NER 300. The programme has been marked by delays and many withdrawn projects since becoming operational in 2010: CCS projects have failed and not reached final investment decisions; wind and solar projects have succeeded, whereas bioenergy projects have seen successes as well as failures. These outcomes can be explained by specific design features in the program that placed large-scale projects at a disadvantage, and by the wider context of EU climate and energy policies providing inadequate market-pull incentives for CCS and biofuels. The design and policy challenges identified are related more to political feasibility than to lack of knowledge of what is needed to trigger innovation. The proposal for a follow-up Innovation Fund is assessed against the lessons from NER 300.