European Hydrogen Bank: 132 auction bids from 17 countries

European Hydrogen Bank auction
European Hydrogen Bank: 132 auction bids from 17 countries

In a press release, the European Commission announced that the bids received following the auctions launched by the European Hydrogen Bank far exceeded the planned budget of 800 million euros. A large number of renewable hydrogen producers responded to the call.

Kurt Vandenberghe, Director-General for Climate Action, stated that “the applications are in and the enthusiastic market response to the pilot auction shows the European hydrogen industry is ready to scale up!” He then added: “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.”

Together, the bids provide for a total electrolyser capacity of 8.5 gigawatts. Over a ten-year period, this would lead to a total production volume of 8.8 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen. That’s almost 10% of the volumes estimated by the EU’s REPowerEU programme for 2030.

Germany ahead of the situation

Brussels points out that Germany is the first EU country to use the “Auctions-as-a-Service” feature by allocating €350 million of its national budget to renewable hydrogen production projects, in case eligible bids for German projects cannot be supported by the Innovation Fund due to budgetary limitations.

The European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) is currently checking the admissibility and eligibility of the bids, which will then be assessed and ranked. Applicants will be informed of the evaluation results in April/May 2024 and successful applicants will be invited to prepare and sign the Grant Agreements. These will be signed in November, at the latest.

The selected projects must start producing renewable hydrogen within five years of signing the grant agreement. They will benefit from the fixed premium subsidy granted for a maximum period of 10 years, and only after certified and verified production of renewable hydrogen.

The European Hydrogen Bank is planning a second round of auctions in the spring, as announced by Ursula von der Leyen.

Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Mariem Ben Tili

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About the author

Laurent Meillaud

Laurent Meillaud

Freelance automotive journalist and consultant, author as well, focused on technologies and new trends for more than 30 years, convinced that hydrogen is one of the energies for the future.

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