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5.2 bln euros of public support for the hydrogen value chain

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a second Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) to support research and innovation, the first industrial deployment and construction of relevant infrastructure in the hydrogen value chain.

The project, called IPCEI Hy2Use was jointly prepared and notified by thirteen Member States, including some from Central and Eastern Europe, namely Greece, Poland and Slovakia.

“Hydrogen can be a game changer for Europe,” said President Ursula von der Leyen. “It is key in diversifying our energy sources and helping us reduce our dependency on Russian gas. We need to bring this niche market to scale. That is why we are creating a Hydrogen Bank. And we will also increase our financial participation in Important Projects of Common European Interest. This will help enable breakthrough innovation and positive spill-overs for all of the EU economy and help power the economy of the future.”

Overall, the Member States will provide up to 5.2 billion euros in public funding, which is expected to unlock additional 7 billion euros in private investments. As part of this IPCEI, 29 companies with activities in one or more Member States, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups, will participate in 35 projects.

IPCEI Hy2Use will cover a wide part of the hydrogen value chain by supporting, first the construction of hydrogen-related infrastructure, notably large-scale electrolysers and transport infrastructure, for the production, storage and transport of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen; and, secondly, the development of innovative and more sustainable technologies for the integration of hydrogen into the industrial processes of multiple sectors, especially those that are more challenging to decarbonise, such as steel, cement and glass. The IPCEI is expected to boost the supply of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen, thereby reducing dependency on the supply of natural gas.

The companies involved in the region include PKN Orlen from Poland, RONA in Slovakia and Titan Cement in Greece.

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