Multiple hydrogen projects supported by EU’s €3.6 billion clean tech funding

Multiple European hydrogen projects have been selected by the European Commission (EC) to be financed through the EU Innovation Fund.

Archive; Courtesy of GreenH2Atlantic

Specifically, the EC awarded over €3.6 billion to 41 large-scale clean tech projects, many of them being hydrogen-related. According to EC, the funding will contribute to the greening of significant sectors of the European economy, in particular those that are difficult to decarbonize.

Hydrogen-related awarded projects include the GreenH2Atlantic project in Sines, Portugal, the H2Maasvlakte project at the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the EnergHys project in the Netherlands, and many others.

GreenH2Atlantic project in Sines, Portugal

GreenH2Atlantic aims to develop and demonstrate a novel, scalable and flexible 96 MW green H2 production system, using pressurized alkaline technology. The electricity required for hydrogen production will be provided by additional solar power and additional wind capacity, supplied via PPA through the electricity grid.

According to Martifier, one of the developers of the project, the green hydrogen production plant of GreenH2Atlantic will consist of repurposing infrastructures from the largest coal power plant in the country, which terminated its operation in January 2021, into an innovative hydrogen production facility.

Subject to the final investment decision (FID) expected to happen by the end of 2023, the project operation is planned to start by the end of 2025.

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H2Maasvlakte project at the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Energy company Uniper’s H2 Maasvlakte project plans are to construct and operate an electrolyser in the Port of Rotterdam area, mainly powered by wind electricity.

According to EC, the electrolyser will be installed on the site of an existing coal power plant to repurpose utility infrastructure such as grid connections and demineralized water supply.

The hydrogen production is intended for off-take in refiners in the Port of Rotterdam area, e.g. for synthetic biofuel production, and EC said that the plant will be suitable for grid-ancillary services through flexible and optimized dispatch, to relieve grid congestion issues.

At the Maasvlakte Energy Hub, Uniper said it plans to commission 100 MW of Plug Power electrolysis capacity to produce green hydrogen by 2026, rapidly expanding that capacity to 500 MW by 2030 at the latest.

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EnergHys project in the Netherlands

According to EC, the aim of the EnergHys project, coordinated by energy major TotalEnergies, is to establish a complete value chain of scalable renewable hydrogen production from renewable energies to end-users.

The intention is to use the produced renewable hydrogen to help decarbonize hard-to-abate industrial customers and the mobility sector by replacing grey hydrogen.

EC said the project benefits from the proximity to the North Sea Port and renewable energy landing points and its future connection to the local hydrogen backbone.

41 clean-tech selected projects

Besides hydrogen, selected projects cover industries such as cement, steel, advanced biofuels, sustainable aviation fuels, and wind and solar energy.

The projects will all enter into operation before 2030 and have the potential to avoid 221 million tons of CO2 emissions in their first 10 years of operation, EC noted.

The 41 projects were selected following the third call for large-scale projects, covering four topics: general decarbonization, industry electrification and hydrogen, clean tech manufacturing and mid-sized pilots. They were evaluated against five award criteria: the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional technologies, level of innovation, operational, financial and technical maturity, scalability and cost-effectiveness.

In addition to the 41 projects selected, other promising but insufficiently mature projects will receive project development assistance from the European Investment Bank, EC pointed out, adding that they will be announced in the fourth quarter of 2023.

At the end of the year, the launch of the next call for proposals is expected for large-scale projects under the Innovation Fund, with an increased budget of €4 billion.

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