The projects will now start negotiations for their grant agreements, which are expected to be concluded before the summer. The projects focus on the production of clean hydrogen and address a variety of applications in the energy, transport, and industry sectors. It is expected that the projects will be able to mobilise investments of at least 5 times the funding provided by the EU or above EUR 0.5 billion.
Hydrogen Valleys contribute to the REPowerEU objectives by scaling up green hydrogen production, supply and consequently to meet the growing demand from industry, transport, and other sectors. The European Commission allocated to the Clean Hydrogen Partnership an additional €200 million through REPowerEU, to double the number of Hydrogen Valleys in Europe by 2025.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “I congratulate theClean Hydrogen Partnership and the selected Hydrogen Valleys for supporting the path to a leading and competitive European economy. The results of the call show a strong mobilisation across Europe – North, South, East, West - and a clear demonstration of alignment of strategies and the use of synergies between public and private funding. We need it to build a Hydrogen Research and Innovation Union.”
Melyssa Verykios, Chair of the Governing Board of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, said: "We couldn’t be more thrilled and proud at the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, to witness the Hydrogen Valley vision that was captured a few years back, materialise on a multiplying and growing hydrogen ecosystem at such timely fashion. These 9 valleys will be planting the seeds of the envisioned hydrogen economy, incubating hydrogen valley hubs simultaneously at several EU MS, interconnecting and transitioning them into a growth value chain at scale.”
Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, said: “The decision to provide funding for 9 hydrogen valleys shows EU’s commitment to accelerate the implementation of hydrogen technologies in order to realize the ambitious goals of the Green Deal and REPowerEU. These projects will benefit regions, local authorities, industry, and Europe’s citizens who need a new, greener, smarter economy.”
The Clean Hydrogen Partnership has started the grant preparations for 2 flagship Hydrogen Valleys(projects of a scale significantly larger to what has been supported to date – i.e., producing at least 5,000 H2 tonnes / year, with interlinkages to other places of hydrogen production and/or consumptions outside project boundaries). The first will be spread across the North Adriatic area (comprising Croatia, the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy, and Slovenia) and the second aims to build a hydrogen corridor across Baltic Sea countries, including Estonia and South Finland.
Stephen Taylor, Director of Research and Innovation at Area Science Park and Coordinator of the Project Proposal Team of the Joint Working Group for the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley” said: “The governments of the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Slovenia and the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy, together with lead partner HSE and the entire partnership warmly welcome the selection by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership of the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley project, a flagship initiative in Central-Southern Europe which will facilitate the transition towards an integrated ecosystem involving industry, energy and transport sectors, and enhance cooperation in research and innovation, to develop a hydrogen supply chain. We are looking forward to starting the negotiations for the EU grant agreement and we hope to kickstart this exciting and important project as soon as possible”.
The partnership, led by main Slovenian electricity producer HSE, supported by ECUBES, includes 34 organisations from Government, Research, and Industry, and covers the entire value chain from production through storage and distribution to final end use of hydrogen as a key energy vector in multiple sectors. The amount of financing requested through the Clean Hydrogen Partnership is EUR 25 m.
The other transnational hydrogen valley gathers 44 organisations from regions around the Baltic Sea. The amount of financing requested through the Clean Hydrogen Partnership is EUR 25 million.
In addition, the Clean Hydrogen Partnership has started the grant preparations for 7 smaller scale Hydrogen Valleys projects (at least 500 H2 tonnes / year), focusing on areas of Europe with no or limited presence of H2 Valleys. Each of them will be funded with 8m EUR. The valleys will comprise regions in Bulgaria (Stara Zagora), Greece (Crete and Corinthia), Ireland (Galway), Italy (Lombardy), Turkey (South Marmara) and Luxembourg.
About the Clean Hydrogen Partnership:
The Clean Hydrogen Partnership is a unique public private partnership supporting research and innovation activities in hydrogen technologies in Europe under the Horizon Europe Programme. Its aim is to accelerate the development and deployment of advanced clean hydrogen applications and strengthen the competitiveness of the clean hydrogen value chain across the European Union. The members of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership are the European Commission, fuel cell and hydrogen industries represented by Hydrogen Europe and the research community, represented by Hydrogen Europe Research.
Since 2014, Clean Hydrogen Partnership’ predecessor, FCH JU, has pursued the concept of hydrogen territories, which have evolved into the most recent concept of Hydrogen Valleys. The Clean Hydrogen Partnership invests in Hydrogen Valleys and hydrogen production, enhancing the global leading position of the EU in electrolyser production. The Partnership is also providing project development assistance for Hydrogen Valleys and has set up a dedicated global platform for Hydrogen Valleys for exchanges of best practices and matchmaking activities.
About the Hydrogen Valleys
Hydrogen Valleys are regional ecosystems that link hydrogen production, transportation, and various end uses such as mobility or industrial feedstock – are important steps towards advancing hydrogen technologies and enabling the development of a sustainable hydrogen economy. The idea is to demonstrate how all the different parts of the use of hydrogen as an energy vector fit together in an integrated system approach.
This concept has gained momentum and is now one of the main priorities of industry and the European Commission for scaling-up hydrogen deployments and creating interconnected hydrogen ecosystems across Europe. A Hydrogen Valley should not only demonstrate how hydrogen technologies work in synergy, but it should also work complementary with (or reuse of) other elements: renewable production, gas infrastructure, electricity grid, batteries, etc. A key objective is to demonstrate the notion of “system efficiency and resilience”: it is not only the energy efficiency of a single application that matters but the overall energy and economic efficiency and resilience of the integrated system. To date, 25 European hydrogen valleys at different stages of development are part of the Mission Innovation Hydrogen Valleys Platform.
- Publication date
- 31 January 2023
- Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking