The European Commission has approved 5.4 billion euros of public funding for the Important Project of Common Interest (IPCEI) Hy2Tech, involving 15 Member States, including Portugal, which will be present in the technologies of hydrogen production and “fuel cells” (fuel cells), with the SME 1s1Energy.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Action had already revealed Portugal’s candidacy for the status of Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) in Hydrogen, with the European Commission, with three green hydrogen production projects: Bondalti, Fusion Fuel and 1s1Energy. These were the companies selected to integrate with their projects first IPCEI round (Industry and Technology), “following the guidelines of German coordination. Once this status is granted by Brussels, the elected projects are considered as priorities and have easier access to significant EU funds.
The IPCEI Hy2Tech list, now approved, includes Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Spain. And also large companies such as Orsted, Nordex, Enel, Daimler Truck, Bosh, Alstrom, Iveco, Faurecia, among many others.
According to the Brussels statement, these 15 countries will come in with €5.4 billion in public funding, which should unlock an additional €8.8 billion in private investment.
IPCEI will involve 41 projects from 35 companies, including eight small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups with activities in one or more member states. The direct participants will cooperate with each other and with more than 300 external partners such as universities, research bodies and SMEs across Europe.The project is expected to create 20,000 direct jobs.
The “green light” from Brussels is because the projects all contribute to a “common goal” and are “highly ambitious.”
“Hydrogen has enormous future potential. Investment in innovative technologies can be risky for a member state or a single company. This is where state aid rules for IPCEI have a role to play. The project presented today is an example of truly ambitious European cooperation for a key common goal,” said Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, responsible for Competition
The Hy2Tech project will cover much of the hydrogen technology value chain, including hydrogen production, fuel cells, storage, transport and distribution, as well as end-user applications, particularly in the mobility sector.
By approving this IPCEI, Brussels hopes that it can “contribute to the development of major technological breakthroughs” and stresses that the approval of this project “is part of the Commission’s wider efforts to support the development of an innovative and sustainable European hydrogen industry”, which is particularly important now in view of the EU’s decarbonisation and energy autonomy objectives.
“With this IPCEI, we are seeing an evolution of EU hydrogen production from laboratory to industry. We are not just supporting hydrogen through funding. We are developing EU-wide rules to enable the hydrogen market and create specific infrastructures. Because we know what is at stake: Europe’s position as a leading region in the hydrogen industrial transformation,” remarked Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton,