EU to launch second hydrogen auction worth €2.2bn in spring 2024
Dear friends of Hydrogen Europe and the Clean Hydrogen Partnership,
Excellencies, Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I remember very vividly the moment when we launched the European Green Deal, exactly four years ago. Back then, clean hydrogen was the dream of a few visionaries – many of whom are in the audience today. Those visionaries believed that clean hydrogen could be central to our transition towards climate neutrality. With its potential to power heavy industries, to propel trucks and trains, and to store seasonal energy.
Today, four years later, the hydrogen economy is blooming. The first hydrogen buses are running in European cities, from Riga to Barcelona. Construction works have just begun on the Port of Rotterdam, to build a hydrogen network that will span for over one thousand kilometres. And weeks ago, the world's first plane powered by liquid hydrogen cruised the skies of Slovenia. It is the dawn of the clean hydrogen era. And all of this is happening thanks to people like you, pioneers and believers in the clean hydrogen revolution.
In these four years, we have done our utmost to support and accompany you. To help you bring innovative hydrogen solutions from the laboratory to the factory, from the factory to the market, and from niche to scale. We have been working on three main strands.
First, strong public investment to scale up the hydrogen market. Second, international cooperation to build a global market for hydrogen. And third, a new partnership with the private sector to spur innovation. Let me update you on the progress we have achieved so far on each strand of work.
First, on investment. The European Green Deal is backed by massive investment. With NextGenerationEU and REPowerEU, we are investing in hydrogen valleys, hydrogen trains, and clean-steel factories. We have authorised over 17 billion euros in State Aid for roughly 80 hydrogen projects across the EU. And this week, we are taking the next step, launching the first auction of the European Hydrogen Bank. It is backed by 800 million euros in European funding. And more importantly, it will attract private sector financing and result in commercial off-take agreements.
Today I can also announce the next steps for the European Hydrogen Bank. In Spring 2024, we will launch the second round of auctions, reaching a total value of three billion euros. It is a promise we made one year ago, and it is now becoming reality. In parallel, we are also working on the international leg of the European Hydrogen Bank. This will secure diversified imports of renewable hydrogen from reliable suppliers abroad.
And this leads me to my second point. That is,
developing a global market for clean hydrogen. We have already signed hydrogen partnerships with countries ranging from Egypt, Kenya and Namibia, to Latin American countries. They have immense potential to produce clean energy, transform it into clean hydrogen, and then ship it to the world.
And here at the Hydrogen Week, new and exciting initiatives will see the light and will be discussed. With Kazakhstan, Australia and Oman. And together with President Lula of Brazil, we are announcing the European Union's support to build one of the biggest hydrogen projects in the world, in the Brazilian State of Piaui. It is part of a two billion euro Global Gateway investment in the hydrogen value chain in Brazil.
This new Green Energy Park will be a 10 GW production facility for clean hydrogen and ammonia, which will then be shipped to the island of Krk in Croatia. From there, hydrogen will travel to serve industrial off-takers in South-East Europe. And in parallel, this project will create local jobs and value chains in Brazil.
All of this shows, more than ever, that Europe is not only a clean hydrogen pioneer, but also a partner – to build a worldwide hydrogen market. With these public investments we are helping attract and mobilise massive private capital.
Cooperation with the private sector is my third and final point. This has always been the logic of the European Green Deal: We provide clear rules and incentives, so that you, inventors and investors, can push forward the clean transition. With you, the industry, in the driving seat. This is why we have just launched a series of Clean Transition Dialogues with each industrial ecosystem.
And it was only natural to dedicate the first Clean Transition Dialogue to the hydrogen industry. Last month we sat down with many of you, to plan the next phase for the European hydrogen sector. Now, we have to follow up our conversation. And we will do just that. By the end of the year, we will assess how Member States plan to implement their national hydrogen commitments. To provide you with a clear roadmap towards 2030 in each Member State.
We will also make it simpler to access public financing. By creating a one-stop-shop under the European Hydrogen Bank, to guide hydrogen project promoters on EU funding. In our dialogue, we also discussed how to support producers and consumers to better find each other. Linking the demand and supply of clean hydrogen.
We will do this by creating a public platform where consumers can indicate their demand.And producers can find their off-takers.These are just three examples that show how we are moving to the next phase. From dialogue with industry to the actual creation of Europe's hydrogen market. Setting it on the fast track.
That is exactly the core business of the European Hydrogen Week. This is a place where governments meet industry, companies meet customers and ideas meet investors. It is a place where vision becomes reality. And this is the destiny of the clean hydrogen economy.
I wish you all a very successful European Hydrogen Week.