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European Hydrogen Bank pilot auction beats expectations with 132 bids across 17 countries

The European Hydrogen Bank's pilot auction for renewable hydrogen production in Europe has drawn 132 project bids from 17 European countries. The total support requested exceeds the current available budget of 800 million euros, provided by the Innovation Fund.

All bids taken together provide for a total planned electrolyser capacity of 8.5 gigawatts (GWe). Over the span of ten years, this would lead to a total production volume of 8.8 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen. On a yearly basis, this would cover close to 10% of the EU’s REPowerEU ambition for domestic renewable hydrogen production in 2030.

Kurt Vandenberghe, Director-General for Climate Action, said that "the applications are in and the enthusiastic market response to the pilot auction shows the European hydrogen industry is ready to scale up! Renewable hydrogen is an important solution in Europe’s endeavour to reach climate neutrality by 2050. The success of this pilot auction is the result of thorough engagement and consultation with relevant stakeholders and a solid regulatory framework which provides certainty to investors. We now have a scheme that provides efficient and targeted public support in full alignment with market needs."

Next steps

The European Executive Agency for Climate, Infrastructure and Environment (CINEA) is currently checking the admissibility and eligibility of the bids and will then evaluate them. The bids will be ranked according to their price. Applicants will be informed about the evaluation results in April/May 2024 and successful applicants will be invited to prepare and sign the Grant Agreements.

The Grant Agreements will be signed by November 2024 at the latest. The selected projects will have to start producing renewable hydrogen within five years of signing the grant agreement. They will receive the awarded fixed premium subsidy for up to 10 years and only upon certified and verified renewable hydrogen production.

In parallel to finalising the evaluation, the Commission will draw the lessons learned from this pilot and consult industry stakeholders on the draft Terms & Conditions for the second round of the hydrogen auction, which it aims to launch before the end of the year.  



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