Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Hydrogen

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The Recovery and Resiliency Facility for clean energy is a temporary instrument made available to EU countries in 2021 to invest in hydrogen projects across the value chain.

Investment support has also been provided through the Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs) on hydrogen. The first IPCEI, called ‘IPCEI Hy2Tech‘, which includes 41 projects and was approved in July 2022, aims at developing innovative technologies for the hydrogen value chain to decarbonise industrial processes and the mobility sector, with a focus on end-users.

In September 2022, the Commission approved ‘IPCEI Hy2Use‘, which complements IPCEI Hy2Tech. It will support the construction of hydrogen-related infrastructure and the development of innovative and more sustainable technologies for the integration of hydrogen into the industrial sector.

The third ‘IPCEI Hy2Infra’ was approved in February 2024, and supports the development of electrolysers, hydrogen transmission and distribution pipelines, large-scale hydrogen storage facilities and handling terminals.

IPCEI Hy2Move, jointly prepared and notified by 7 EU countries, was approved in May 2024 and will cover a wide part of the hydrogen technology value chain by supporting the development of a set of technological innovations. 

Hydrogen accelerator

With the publication of the REPowerEU plan in May 2022, the Commission complements the implementation of the EU hydrogen strategy to further increase the European ambitions for renewable hydrogen as an important energy carrier to move away from Russia’s fossil fuel imports.

In the Staff Working Document (SWD/2022/230) accompanying the plan, the Commission outlines a ‘hydrogen accelerator’ concept to scale up the deployment of renewable hydrogen, which will contribute to accelerating the energy transition and decarbonising the EU’s energy system.

The ambition is to produce 10 million tonnes and import 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen in the EU by 2030.

The focus of these actions is to accelerate the uptake of renewable hydrogen, ammonia and other derivatives in hard-to-decarbonise sectors, such as transport, and in energy-intensive industrial processes. Scaling up the development of hydrogen infrastructure and supporting hydrogen investments are also identified as key areas to support hydrogen uptake in the EU.

EU hydrogen initiatives

The EU has launched and promotes several industrial, funding and research and innovation initiatives on hydrogen.

  • Clean Hydrogen Partnership 

The Clean Hydrogen Partnership (2021-2027) is a joint public-private partnership supported by the Commission, through Horizon Europe. It builds upon the success of its predecessor, the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking and includes also the Hydrogen Valleys Platform, an EU led-initiative under Mission Innovation. On 1 March 2023, the Commission and key stakeholders signed a joint declaration on renewable hydrogen research and innovation, committing to step up and accelerate joint action in research, development, demonstration and deployment of Hydrogen Valleys.

  • European Clean Hydrogen Alliance

The European Clean Hydrogen Alliance was launched alongside the EU hydrogen strategy in 2020 as part of the new industrial strategy for the EU. It brings together industry, national and local authorities, civil society and other stakeholders.

The alliance’s objective is to achieve an ambitious deployment of hydrogen technologies by 2030 by bringing together renewable and low-carbon hydrogen production, demand in industry, transport and other sectors, and hydrogen transmission and distribution.

It launched 6 thematic roundtables in key areas of hydrogen production, transportation and use and published a hydrogen project pipeline in November 2021.

It also hosts the ‘Electrolyser Partnership’ to bring together electrolyser manufacturers and suppliers of components and materials to achieve a combined annual electrolyser manufacturing capacity of 17.5 GW by 2025 in Europe.

  • Hydrogen Public Funding Compass

The Hydrogen Public Funding Compass is an online guide for stakeholders to identify public funding sources for hydrogen projects and it provides information on all the EU programmes and funds (2021-2027) that are relevant for the sector.

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