In September 2022, the European Commission approved a second IPCEI project related to the hydrogen value chain: Hy2Use. This project involves support for research and innovation, first industrial deployment and construction of relevant infrastructure in the value chain. The EU Member States involved are allowed to provide up to 5.2 billion euros in public support for this purpose. As an expert and knowledge partner in the field of hydrogen innovation, EGEN is closely involved in several projects within Hy2Use.
What is IPCEI?
IPCEI is an acronym for ‘Important Projects of Common European Interest’. These are funds for particular innovation themes of great strategic importance across Europe. The Netherlands is involved in four IPCEI initiatives related to Health, Cloud Infrastructure and Services (CIS), Micro-electronics (ME2) and Hydrogen. The IPCEI funds are generally earmarked for very large-scale innovation projects (in terms of size, scope and level of ambition) involving ‘excellent’ technology. To be eligible, the project must be based in the Netherlands while at the same time having a significant European impact.
The distribution of the IPCEI funds essentially involves a direct collaboration between ‘Brussels’ and the national government of the Member State concerned. The European Commission sets the IPCEI focus areas, which involves making an exception to the existing state-aid rules. Contrary to these rules, Member States are permitted to grant more funding for IPCEI projects than is customary. The Dutch government’s IPCEI support can then increase to 100% of the ‘unprofitable top’ of any project.
IPCEI Hydrogen: Hy2Tech
IPCEI Hydrogen is divided into different stages (known as ‘waves’). The IPCEI project of the first wave, called Hy2Tech, addresses the hydrogen technology value chain. In July 2022, the fifteen Member States that prepared and notified this project – including the Netherlands – were authorised by the European Commission (EC) to provide up to 5.4 billion euros in public support for the project. Themes include: production, storage, transportation and distribution of hydrogen, and applications in the mobility sector.
IPCEI Hydrogen: Hy2Use
In September, the EC approved the IPCEI project of the second wave: Hy2Use. This project involves support for research and innovation, first industrial deployment and construction of relevant infrastructure in the hydrogen value chain. The project was jointly prepared and notified by thirteen Member States: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. These Member States have been authorised by the EC to provide up to 5.2 billion euros in public funding. As part of this IPCEI, 29 companies with activities in one or more Member States, including SMEs and start-ups, will participate in 35 projects.
IPCEI Hy2Use will cover a wide part of the hydrogen value chain by supporting (i) 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 (ii) 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 project is expected to boost the supply of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen, thereby reducing dependency on the supply of natural gas.
As an expert and knowledge partner in the field of hydrogen innovation, EGEN is closely involved in Hy2Use. Our efforts are mainly focused on project development: how do you ‘build’ a strong and convincing project that definitely deserves the IPCEI status? Naturally, we have also made every effort to secure that IPCEI status – and with it the public funding opportunities – for the projects. And with success! Lastly, EGEN in the Netherlands has also been specifically involved in applying for the actual IPCEI grant. We are currently still awaiting the outcome of this tender.
IPCEI Hydrogen: what next?
The first two waves of IPCEI Hydrogen will be followed by the third wave: Regional Hubs and Their Links (RHATL), which deals with import and infrastructure projects. The fourth and, for now, last wave relates to Mobility & Transport (M&T). But it cannot be ruled out that there will be more waves for IPCEI Hydrogen later on. For example for H2 Capacity (‘IPCEI on European connected capacity projects for feedstock in different applications’). However, the situation is uncertain at present, and it has not yet been established whether the Netherlands will participate.
What can we do for you?
EGEN has extensive expertise in all matters related to hydrogen, whether it concerns the latest innovative technologies or the most up-to-date funding opportunities – including, of course, the opportunities offered by IPCEI. We are your go-to partner for your grant application or innovation process. Our experts can help you draft a winning project plan, make complex calculations (financial or technical) and provide trustworthy and professional project and process support. We would be delighted to support companies involved in developing new hydrogen technologies. If you would like to learn more about our services, feel free to send us a message using the contact form below.