EU greenlights €1.4bn in state aid for hydrogen in road transport, ships and aviation



The European Commission has approved the fourth wave of Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) for hydrogen, a scheme which allows member states to allocate vast sums of state aid towards individual projects.


This latest round, Hy2Move, will unlock €1.4bn ($1.52bn) of public funding from Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Slovakia, and Estonia, which will go towards 13 projects.


However, while the companies that will receive state aid have been identified, specific details about their projects will remain anonymous until “any confidentiality issues have been resolved”.


The European Commission also notes that state aid awarded under the IPCEI might not come through until 2031, “with timelines varying in function of the individual projects and the companies involved”.


Previous IPCEI rounds have seen some projects, such as Stahl-Holding-Saar’s planned conversion of its steelmaking to use green hydrogen, already been given grants for billions of euros in subsidies, while others, such as two of EDP’s planned electrolyser projects in Spain, are still waiting on their governments to sign off on state aid.


Under Hy2Move, Airbus is set to receive government support from Germany, France and Spain for “mobility and transport applications”, ie, integrating fuel cells into different transport types across road, maritime and aviation.


The aerospace company has already announced its plans to put a zero-emission aircraft into service by 2035, although it is reportedly yet to make a decision on whether it will prioritise fuel cells or hydrogen engines for its first commercial planes.


Germany is also set to award Airbus state aid for development of fuel-cell technology that could be used in mobility and on-board storage systems for H2.


The country has also allocated state aid for automaker BMW for applications, fuel cells, and on-board storage. Neuman & Esser is also in line for subsidies toward technology to produce H2 for mobility.


The French government is also set to allocate subsidies under Hy2Move to tire company Michelin, project developer HDF and H2 production equipment firm Gen-Hy Cube.


Spain, meanwhile, is now set to award state aid to Evolution Synergetique, which engineers powertrains for electric vehicles.


Similarly, Estonia is set to support Skeleton Technologies on developing hydrogen mobility applications, despite the company to date focusing on rapid-charging energy storage cells rather than H2 or fuel cells.


Slovak aircraft manufacturer Tomark is in line for subsidies towards developing both H2 mobility and on-board storage tanks from its government via Hy2Move.


Italy has also allocated state aid towards filtration equipment supplier UFI for fuel cell technology development.




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