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Commission reaffirms commitment to H2 with major announcements


21 Nov 2023


Sustainable Dev.
Today (Monday 20 November), at the European Hydrogen Week event in Brussels, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the second auction of the European Hydrogen Bank, as well as the signing of an historic agreement with the Brazilian state of Piaui. The announcement come only three days before the official launch of the €800m Hydrogen Bank pilot auction.
In Spring 2024, the next round of auctions will take place with a budget of €2.2 billion, meeting the balance of the €3 billion budget first promised.
“This is a promise we made a year ago and it is now becoming reality,” said President von der Leyen, referring to her 2022 State of the Union address in which the Hydrogen Bank was first announced – and the €3 billion figure was first floated.
The bank, by providing support for some of Europe’s first large hydrogen projects, will serve to attract private capital and ensure the creation of a proper commercial offtake market.
The second announcement is a huge investment, via the EU’s Global Gateway strategy, into a 10GW green hydrogen production facility in the Brazilian state of Piaui. It forms part of a €2 billion package to build up Brazil’s hydrogen value chain. The project will ship clean hydrogen and ammonia to Croatia, from where it will be distributed among southeastern European offtakers.
“All of this shows more than ever that the EU is not only a clean hydrogen pioneer but a partner to build a worldwide hydrogen market,” said President von der Leyen.
“We are delighted to hear the Commission President follow through with the promise made one year ago, which will help to propel the hydrogen industry forward and ensure Europe has access to a key decarbonisation tool,” said Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe.
“The announcement on the next hydrogen bank auction is excellent news as it provides the level of visibility the sector needs to plan the roll out of hydrogen infrastructure. We can now start engaging with the Commission on the eligibility conditions and the form of support,” said Daniel Fraile, Chief Policy Officer of Hydrogen Europe.
Later in her speech, President von der Leyen also promised to evaluate national hydrogen strategies and their implementation to ensure they can collectively meet the EU targets. This is also hugely positive news that will help ensure united and consistent growth in hydrogen capacity. The EU estimates that investments of €471 billion will be needed to meet the 10 million tonne renewable hydrogen target, including production, transport, storage and consumption.