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2024

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Austria earmarks €400m to subsidise domestic green hydrogen projects, using EU auctions-as-a-service

Author:

Hydrogeninsight


 

Central European nation is targeting 1GW of renewable H2 by 2030

 

Austria looks set to become the second EU member state to offer green hydrogen production subsidies for domestic projects via the bloc’s European Hydrogen Bank (EHB), after the country unveiled plans to make hundreds of millions of euros available for an upcoming auction.

 

A new draft law, jointly sponsored by the climate ministry (BMK) and the finance ministry , envisages €400m ($432m) for green H2 production in Austria, the BMK said on Tuesday.

 

The money would be distributed via a competitive auction on the EHB’s auction-as-a-service programme, in which member states can “top-up” existing EU-level auctions with their own funds for domestic projects.

 

The BMK told Hydrogen Insight that it plans to carry out the auction during the next €2.2bn EHB funding round, which is due to launch in spring this year.

 

Austria is targeting 1GW of renewable hydrogen production by 2030 as part of its national H2 strategy. It also wants to decarbonise 80% of its carbon-intensive hydrogen use with clean equivalents by the same date.

 

“Climate-neutral hydrogen plays an important role in our climate and energy goals,” said Austria’s climate minister, Leonore Gewessler. “To ensure that Austria remains competitive in those areas that need hydrogen for their processes or that are difficult to electrify — such as energy-intensive industry and shipping and air traffic — it is important to invest with foresight now.”

 

The EHB aims to close the gap between the market price of renewable H2 and that of fossil fuel-derived equivalents with at a fixed premium per kilogram of hydrogen produced, determined via an auction process.

 

Producers of green hydrogen (and its derivatives such as green ammonia and methanol) willing to accept the lowest fixed premium, as well as meeting other criteria, are prioritised for a share of the cash, and winners are granted ten-year grant contracts.

 

Under the top-up programme, the lowest bids from across the EU — including Austria — would be awarded contracts until the EHB budget is exhausted, then the additional Austria-specific funding would be allocated to the Austrian projects with the next-lowest bids.

 

The first €800m pilot auction of the EHB, which closed earlier this month, was topped up with €350m from Germany for domestic projects.

 

Austria is also reportedly in talks with Germany’s green hydrogen subsidy auction scheme, H2Global, to set up its own auction for non-EU imports of renewable hydrogen and its derivatives from international producers.

 

Source:Hydrogeninsight

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