“This momentous investment is essential to ensure the development of a dynamic hydrogen economy of diverse innovators, manufacturers, producers and end-users across the EU for a sustainable and prosperous hydrogen-based future.”
Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director van de Clean Hydrogen Partnership
Around 40% of Europe’s energy imports still consists of Russian natural gas – a dependency that we are all painfully aware of today and that is also problematic from an environmental point of view. The search for green alternatives has a new urgency. And although green hydrogen still has a long way to go and is by no means a “quick fix” for our current problems, it may be our future. Last week the Clean Hydrogen Partnership published the first call for grant applications related to green hydrogen as part of the Horizon Europe programme.
Clean Hydrogen Partnership
The Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking was established in 2021 as the successor to the earlier FCH 2 JU. It aims to strengthen and integrate research into, and the development and improvement of, advanced hydrogen technologies and applications. The shared aspect is clearly reflected in its three partners – the European Commission, Hydrogen Europe (representing the industrial sector), and Hydrogen Europe Research (representing the scientific community). They are joining forces to bring a green hydrogen future closer.
Which Projects are Eligible?
Just as the partnership represents the whole chain, so do the various calls for grants published within the Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. The grant is focused on projects dealing with green hydrogen and fuel cells. There are 41 calls covering all parts of the chain as well as different TRL levels – from green hydrogen production to storage and distribution, and stimulating hydrogen use in energy-intensive industries, aviation, and heavy transport.
The 41 calls are divided into 7 themes:
- 10 calls – production of sustainable hydrogen;
- 11 calls – storage and distribution;
- 8 calls – transport;
- 4 calls – heat and electricity;
- 5 calls – cross-cutting themes;
- 2 calls – hydrogen valleys; and
- 1 call – strategic research.
Two components that may require an additional explanation: The hydrogen ‘valleys’ refer to the setting up of a complete hydrogen chain in a certain region. There are also the ‘flagship’ projects, the final results of which are intended to be brought to the market after the end of the project.
Conditions and Grant Amounts
The specific grant conditions differ per call. The maximum project size is between €7-30 million. The funding percentage of eligible costs is between 60% for commercial companies and 100% for research and non-profit institutions. As we are used to from calls within the broader Horizon Europe programme, the calls are mostly intended for large consortia.
In total, no less than €300.5 million is available. In this first round, €179.5 million will be awarded; in the second round, this is €121 million.
When to Submit a Proposal?
As mentioned, the grant will be made in two rounds. The first round opened on 1 March and closes on 31 May 2022. For the second round, the deadline is 20 September 2022. Please note that the thematic calls are divided over these rounds, meaning that each theme may come up in a single round only. It is therefore important to study the topics that may be of interest to you now.
If you are developing technology around green hydrogen, please feel free to contact us to see what this funding opportunity can offer you.
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