Hydrogen pilot projects funded by the EU
Among the landscape of funding tools for EU hydrogen pilot projects, the Horizon Europe programme is a key feature. The Horizon Europe programme is focused on innovative research and, according to the European Commission, has a budget of 95.5 billion Euros (European Commission, 2022). Of this amount, 35% is used to support Europe’s climate objectives by investing in low-carbon industry applications and breakthrough technologies, including hydrogen. The Horizon Europe fund covers hydrogen pilot projects across the complete value chain, stretching from research and innovation projects to market deployment actions. The following article will outline the details for five of these projects.
The GREEN HYSLAND project’s target is to deploy a fully-functioning ‘Hydrogen ecosystem’ on the island of Mallorca, Spain, to make it Europe’s first hydrogen hub in Southern Europe. The starting point for developing this ecosystem is the production of green hydrogen from solar energy. This green hydrogen would then be injected into the H2-backbone grid of the island. These steps will allow not only the residents of the island to benefit from green energy, but the tourist, transport, and industry sectors as well. Additionally, the project will create a roadmap for the widespread application of hydrogen within the economy of Mallorca and the Balearic Region until 2050. According to GREEN HYSLAND, the findings from these projects shall serve as a model for the replication of hydrogen ecosystems on other islands in the EU. (GREEN HYSLAND, 2022).
The H2Haul project is co-financed by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) and aims to deploy sixteen zero-emission fuel-cell trucks at four sites across Europe. As a complement to the fuel-cell trucks, six new high-capacity hydrogen re-fuelling stations will be installed to supply reliable, low-carbon hydrogen to the trucks. According to the project, there is and will be, a constant monitoring of both the infrastructure’s and vehicles’ performance. Close and constant monitoring of H2Haul will enable the investment and participation of a wide range of stakeholders for future hydrogen projects, after its finish in 2023 (H2Haul, 2022).
The JIVE and JIVE2 projects (Joint Initiative for Hydrogen Vehicles across Europe) are also part of the effort to integrate hydrogen into the transportation sector, particularly public transport. The JIVE projects will introduce 139 new zero-emission fuel-cell buses and the associated re-fuelling infrastructure for the buses across five European countries. According to Hydrogen Europe, the projects are co-funded by a 32 million Euro grant from the Clean Hydrogen Partnership under the Horizon Europe programme (Hydrogen Europe, 2022). The overall goal of the JIVE and JIVE2 projects is to promote the commercialisation of fuel-cell buses through large-scale deployment of vehicles and infrastructure so that by the end of the project, it is commercially viable for bus operators to include fuel-cell buses in their fleets without subsidy. As a political consequence of the projects, the advocates of JIVE and JIVE2 aim to empower local authorities and national governments to make regulations for zero emission propulsion.
Figure: Hydrogen pilot projects funded by the EU Source: European Commission, 2022 & EVERYWH2ERE, 2022 & GREEN HYSLAND, 2022 & Hydrogen Europe, 2022 & HYPSTER, 2022 & H2Haul, 2022
The project stands for hydrogen applications in everyday life. Specifically, the project aims to develop innovative fuel-cell transportable gensets to replace traditional gensets by providing zero noise/zero emissions. The fuel-cell gensets will be tested at construction sites, music festivals, and urban public events all around Europe. EVERYWH2ERE has already been running for four years and will be finished by the end of 2023, according to the project plan (EVERYWH2ERE, 2022). Two years after the completion of the project, the leaders expect to publish their results and conclusions regarding among other aspects, safety standards for the gensets, application for the gensets in other countries, a selection of the first entry markets, and recommendations for up-scaling production.
HYPSTER is yet another hydrogen pilot project funded by the Horizon Europe fund. HYPSTER is located in France and has the goal of using salt cavern storage to connect hydrogen injection by electrolysis to industrial and mobility uses. The budget for the project is 13 million Euros and the first phase began in 2020 (HYPSTER, 2022). Currently, construction of the electrolysis unit for onsite green hydrogen production is underway, and when complete, is expected to produce 400 kg of hydrogen per day. HYPSTER will serve as a model for further other hydrogen sites using salt caverns for storage.
By supporting these various pilot projects through the Horizon Europe programme, the EU can gain beneficial insights into the manifold application of hydrogen, draft necessary political regulations to further develop widespread hydrogen deployment, and thereby overall, sharpen the EU’s hydrogen strategy for the future.
European Commission. 2022. Horizon Europe, https://research-and-innovation.ec.europa.eu/funding/funding-opportunities/funding-programmes-and-open-calls/horizon-europe_en.
EVERYWH2ERE. 2022. PROJECT BRIEF, https://www.everywh2ere.eu/project-brief/.
GREEN HYSLAND. 2022. Green Hysland, https://greenhysland.eu/.
Hydrogen Europe, 2022. Fuel Cell Electric Buses – JIVE, https://www.fuelcellbuses.eu/projects/jive.
HYPSTER. 2022. The project. https://hypster-project.eu/about-the-project/.
H2Haul. 2022. H2Haul in a Nutshell, https://www.h2haul.eu/about/.