Dubbed IPCEI Hy2Use, the project was devised and supported by 13 EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden.
As part of the project, the member states will provide up to €5.2bn in public funding which the Commission expects could unlock an additional €7bn ($6.88bn) in private investments.
Hy2Use follows on from the Commission’s approval of the IPCEI Hy2Tech programme which aims to industrialise hydrogen technologies within the region.
H2 View understands 29 companies with activities in the participating member states will use the funding to develop 35 projects.
According to the European Commission IPCEI Hy2Use will cover a wide part of the hydrogen value chain by support the construction of infrastructure, and the development of technologies for the integration of hydrogen into industrial processes.
It is expected that the IPCEI will boost the supply of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen to reduce the continent’s reliance on the supply of natural gas, falling in line with the REPowerEU plan which set the target of producing 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen domestically by 2030.
Last Wednesday (September 14), the Commission announced it had created the European Hydrogen Bank to invest €3bn ($2.9bn) in a bid to help develop the hydrogen market.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said, “Hydrogen can be a game changer for Europe. It is key in diversifying our energy sources and helping us reduce our dependency on Russian gas. We need to bring this niche market to scale.
“That is why we are creating a Hydrogen Bank. And we will also increase our financial participation in Important Projects of Common European Interest. This will help enabling breakthrough innovation and positive spill-overs for all of the EU economy and help power the economy of the future.”
Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, added, “Hydrogen is key for the green transition of Europe’s energy-intensive industries: it allows us to produce carbon-free steel, cement and chemicals and can replace large quantities of fossil fuels. Europe’s industry is a global technology leader in hydrogen.
“Now is the time to roll out our technologies to Europe’s factory floors. Our hydrogen IPCEIs support just that: a first generation of large-scale hydrogen industrial projects in Europe.”
CEO of Hydrogen Europe, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, said the projects under the IPCEI have come at the perfect moment as Europe strives to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.
Chatzimarkakis said, “Given the importance of renewable hydrogen production, adequate storage, and transport infrastructure to a future hydrogen market, we very much welcome the €5.2bn allocated by the European Commission to support these projects.
“I am confident that today’s IPCEI announcement will help mobilise additional private and public funding for the scale up of renewable hydrogen production and use in the industrial sector. De-risking industry efforts remains a key challenge to secure the private investments needed to quickly reduce EU dependency from fossil fuels and speed up emission reductions. With two IPCEIs now notified, and more on the way, we expect increasingly ambitious cooperation between European member states.”