16 Feb 2024, 12:26
Julian Wettengel

EU greenlights €4.6 billion in German state support for hydrogen projects

Clean Energy Wire

The European Union has given Germany and six other EU countries the green light to provide a total of 6.9 billion euros in state support to companies for 33 projects along the hydrogen value chain. German states and the federal government will make available 4.6 billion euros for infrastructure in the country under the umbrella European “IPCEI Hy2Infra”, the economy ministry said in a press release. "Strengthening the German hydrogen economy along the entire value chain is essential to enable a rapid market ramp-up," said minister Robert Habeck. Most German projects receive 70 percent funding from the federal government and 30 percent from the states.

So-called Important Projects of Common European Interest (‘IPCEI') allow member states to support transnational projects of strategic significance for the EU. This creates an exemption to otherwise very strict EU rules on countries supplying state aid to companies, as these businesses may gain a distortive advantage over their competitors. In this case, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Slovakia jointly prepared the project, which encompasses the deployment of 3.2 GW of large-scale electrolysers to produce renewable hydrogen, 2,700 kilometres of hydrogen transmission and distribution pipelines, hydrogen storage facilities and import infrastructure for liquid organic hydrogen carriers. The IPCEI will support the gradual emergence of an EU-wide hydrogen infrastructure starting from different regional clusters, said the European Commission. The overall completion of projects is planned for 2029, with individual timelines varying depending on projects and companies.

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