The Hydrogen Stream: EU to launch 2nd green hydrogen auction in spring


The European Union is launching this week the first auction of the European Hydrogen Bank, backed by €800 million in European funding.“In Spring 2024, we will launch the second round of auctions, reaching a total value of three billion euros,” added the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. The Commission already authorised over €17 billion in State Aid for around 80 hydrogen projects across the EU. It has signed hydrogen partnerships with countries ranging from Egypt, Kenya and Namibia, to Latin American countries.“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.” The European executive is also holding talks with Kazakhstan, Australia and Oman.

Clean Energy Associates (CEA) said it expects a 143% increase in electrolyzer capacity over the next two years. CEA's Hydrogen Electrolyzer Supplier Market Intelligence Report (H1 2023) states that China, Europe, and the United States will lead in growth. Alkaline remains dominant, with Enapter offering the Anion Exchange Member technology. The report highlights Bloom Energy's dominance in Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell electrolyzers. “Only one supplier, Enapter, currently offers the Anion Exchange Member (AEM) technology,” said CEA, adding that few suppliers offer multiple technologies. 

Enexis said the first homes in the Dutch village of Wagenborgen have been connected to a newly developed hydrogen network. In the coming weeks, 33 homes in the 1970s neighborhood will transition from natural gas to green hydrogen through the grid. “We are learning here how to distribute hydrogen safely through existing gas pipelines. We are doing that with low and high pressure to learn how that works for homes and industry. If we succeed here, we succeed everywhere,” said Bram Gerrist, director innovation for Enexis, the Dutch grid operator. Essent, a Dutch unit of E.ON, has signed the first hydrogen contracts to supply hydrogen to residents.

Eneco has submitted its planning application to build a green hydrogen production plant in Rotterdam's Europoort industrial area, next to the Enecogen power station in Europoort. “This location means the two facilities can share some infrastructure, which has advantages with regards to costs and realization time,” said Eneco, adding that it is working with Mitsubishi. The plant should “have a capacity of eventually 800 megawatts.” It could produce up to 80 kilotons of hydrogen per year. Construction is expected to start in 2026, and the hydrogen plant is scheduled to begin operating in 2029.

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RWE has signed an agreement with Hyundai Engineering & Construction, a subsidiary of Korea's Hyundai Motor Group, to cooperate in offshore wind and green hydrogen projects in South Korea and other parts of the world. The partnership aims to combine Hyundai's hydrogen expertise from its first South Korean electrolysis plant with RWE's knowledge across the entire value chain for future green hydrogen projects, contingent on favorable market conditions, said RWE.

The UK government has revealed plans to launch a hydrogen industry taskforce, in partnership with the Hydrogen Innovation Initiative and Innovate UK. Additionally, a GBP 960 million ($1.2 billion) investment in the Green Industries Growth Accelerator was announced to support the expansion of clean energy supply chains, including carbon capture, utilization and storage, electricity networks, hydrogen, nuclear, and offshore wind. The funding, available from 2025 for five years, will come into effect after the General Election, said the Hydrogen Energy Association.

Evonik has signed a license agreement with Fuhua to build a new hydrogen peroxide plant in Leshan, China's Sichuan province, using the know-how of the German chemicals company. The collaboration will evaluate the joint production and marketing of specialty grades of hydrogen peroxide to meet the rising demand in the Chinese market. Fuhua plans to construct an industrial-grade hydrogen peroxide plant with an annual capacity of 200 kilotons.

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