Its aim is to strengthen and integrate EU scientific capacity, in order to accelerate the development and improvement of advanced clean hydrogen applications. The three members of the Joint Undertaking are the European Commission, fuel cell and hydrogen industries represented by Hydrogen Europe and the research community represented by Hydrogen Europe Research.
The Clean Hydrogen JU is the successor of FCH 2 JU and was established in November 2021 with the adoption of the Council Regulation on establishing the Joint Undertakings under Horizon Europe. The EU will support the Clean Hydrogen JU with €1 billion euro for the period 2021-2027, complemented by at least an equivalent amount of private investment (from the private members of the partnership), raising the total budget to above €2 billion euro.
The research and innovation activities of the Clean Hydrogen JU are guided to a large extent by EU’s Hydrogen Strategy and the policy developments in this context, contributing to its implementation. Its main focus is on renewable hydrogen production, as well as hydrogen transmission, distribution and storage, alongside selected fuel cell end-use technologies in transport, buildings and industry.
Role of hydrogen technologies
Fighting climate change will require a deep energy transition. The energy sector – comprising the use of energy for power generation, transportation, heating and manufacturing – is responsible for more than 70% of the global GHG emissions. Achieving EU goal of climate neutrality would require us to substantially restrict the use of fossil fuels in the energy sector, replacing them with renewable energy sources and other climate neutral or low carbon fuels, as much as possible.
Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can play a critical role in the energy transformation. It can be used as a feedstock, a fuel, an energy carrier and an energy storage medium, and thus has many possible applications across industry, transport, power and buildings sectors. Most importantly, when produced sustainably, it does not emit CO2 and does not pollute the air when used. It is therefore an important part of the overall solution to meet the 2050 climate neutrality goal of the European Green Deal.
For hydrogen to claim this position in the energy mix, it will require among others the improvement of its competitiveness against other energy carriers, research and innovation into breakthrough technologies and an infrastructure network that can bring it to a geographically spread market.