EU Approves €6.9 Billion State Aid for 33 Hydrogen Projects

19.02.2024 - In a move to improve the supply of renewable hydrogen and thus reduce dependence on natural gas and contribute to achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal and the REPowerEU plan, the EU Commission has approved a third Important project of common European interest (IPCEI) to support hydrogen infrastructure.

The project, called Hy2Infra, involves 33 projects by 32 companies, including five small and medium-sized companies, from seven member states: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Slovakia.

The participating member states intend to provide up to €6.9 billion in public funding, which is expected to unlock additional €5.4 billion in private investments, for a total of over €12 billion.

Hy2Infra will cover a wide part of the hydrogen value chain by supporting the deployment of 3.2 GW of large-scale electrolyzers to produce renewable hydrogen; the deployment of new and repurposed hydrogen transmission and distribution pipelines of approximately 2,700 km; the development of large-scale hydrogen storage facilities with capacity of at least 370 GWh; and the construction of handling terminals and related port infrastructure for liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC) to handle 6,000 t/y of hydrogen.

Participants will also collaborate on interoperability and common standards to prevent barriers and facilitate future market integration, the EU Commission stated. Thus, the IPCEI will support the gradual emergence of an EU-wide hydrogen infrastructure starting from different regional clusters.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU Commission’s executive vice-president, commented: “While the renewable hydrogen supply chain in Europe is still in a nascent phase, Hy2Infra will deploy the initial building blocks of an integrated and open renewable hydrogen network.”

Several projects are expected to be implemented in the near future, with various large-scale electrolyzers expected to be operational between 2026 and 2028, and pipelines between 2027 and 2029. The overall completion of projects is planned for 2029.

The IPCEI Hy2Infra complements the first and second IPCEI on the hydrogen value chain, Hy2Tech and Hy2Use, which focus on the development of hydrogen technologies for end users and hydrogen applications in the industrial sector respectively.