The revelations, uncovered by the website EUobserver, will heap further pressure on EU chiefs who are already facing increased scrutiny over their spending due to Brexit.
Britain’s departure from the bloc is set to blow a £9 billion a year hole in its budget, with a number of member states actively calling for Brussels’ largesse to be be reined in.
Eurosceptics in the UK have long complained about the cost and red tape related to European environmental regulations which they accuse of stifling entrepreneurial enterprise.
However the fund, called NER300, did not support a single such project after officials catastrophically miscalculated carbon emissions pricing in Europe, which they expected to go up but which actually dropped drastically just after the programme was announced.
“The incentive to not to have to pay a hundred euros a tonne for every tonne of CO2 emitted, was very strong indeed. The assumption was industry would do it, without us requiring any other means. Industry would take all these risks.”
However, he said that when the carbon price crashed – it now stands at just seven euros – the scheme attracted virtually no participants and only ended up funding projects already in the renewable category.