Europe Launches $873 Million Green Hydrogen Auction
Bidders must submit their applications by February 8, 2024
The European Commission has launched the European Hydrogen Bank auction with an initial allocation of €800 million (~$872.5 million). Renewable hydrogen producers can participate in the pilot auction, bidding for financial support presented as a set premium for each kilogram of hydrogen they produce.
Bidders must submit their applications by February 8, 2024. Bidders can get clarifications and interact with the European Climate, Infrastructure, and Environment Executive Agency overseeing the auction implementation on November 30, 2023.
The auction’s funding comes from emissions trading revenues through the Innovation Fund, which has an estimated budget of €40 billion (~$43.6 billion) from the EU Emissions Trading System between 2020 and 2030.
The funding seeks to address the cost disparity between renewable and non-renewable hydrogen production. Currently, non-renewable hydrogen is more cost-effective, creating a market imbalance. The European Hydrogen Bank aims to rectify this by offering financial incentives that make renewable hydrogen more competitive.
Under the pilot auction, renewable hydrogen producers can submit bids for EU support based on a proposed price premium per kilogram of hydrogen produced. The bidding process includes a ceiling of €4.5 (~$4.8)/kg. Bids that meet the price criteria and other qualification requirements will be ranked from the lowest to the highest bid price, with support awarded in that order until the auction budget is depleted.
Selected projects will receive the awarded subsidy in addition to the market revenues generated from hydrogen sales, sustaining financial support for up to 10 years.
“Hydrogen is going to be a key technology to decarbonize Europe’s industry and help deliver our 2030 and 2050 climate targets. Today’s first EU-wide auction for renewable hydrogen production sends a clear signal that Europe is the place to invest in renewable hydrogen production and hydrogen-based industries. Developing a solid hydrogen market in the EU will make us more competitive, offer new growth opportunities to industry, and provide quality jobs for European companies and citizens,” said Wopke Hoekstra, Commissioner for Climate Action.
The Commission aims to inform applicants of the evaluation results as early as April 2024. The signing of grant agreements is expected within nine months after the call closure.
The Commission’s pilot auction is a move to collect vital data about the EU’s renewable hydrogen project pipeline, competition levels, production costs, and market prices. These insights will shape future auctions, contributing to developing effective strategies for various decarbonization technologies and products.
The Commission envisions a second round of auctions in 2024.
In June, the European Commission proposed a detailed new framework for green hydrogen producers within the EU and from other countries exporting to the region to ensure it is produced using renewable electricity.
According to Deloitte’s 2023 Global Green Hydrogen Outlook, the green hydrogen market is expected to expand to 170 million tons of hydrogen by 2030 and reach 600 MT by 2050.