In a different outline from those of the IPCEI, the European Commission approved a €550m Italian scheme to support investments for the use of hydrogen, in order to replace methane and other fossil fuels with renewable hydrogen in industrial processes.
This scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, adopted by the commission on 9 March 2023 and was modified in November of the same year, in order to support measures in sectors that are essential for accelerating the ecological transition. Under this measure, which will be financed from the resources allocated to Italy’s recovery and resilience plan, aid will come in the form of direct subsidies.
Eligible projects must aim to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from production processes by at least 40% or to reduce energy consumption by at least 20% in comparison to today. These targets are in line with the text on the temporary framework (which mandates that hydrogen consumption must represent at least 40% of total energy inputs from the start of the operational phase of projects, at least 75% of total energy inputs by 2032 and 100% of total energy inputs by 2036).
The Commission concluded that the Italian scheme is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to accelerate the green transition and facilitate the development of certain economic activities, that are important for the implementation of the REPower EU Plan and the Green Deal Industrial Plan. Hence, this green light.
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Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Mariem Ben Tili