Six Italian companies and two research centres will start new research projects on H2 technologies thanks to European funds
The European Commission strongly supports "clean" hydrogen as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen can be used to carry and store energy, as a fuel and as an energy feedstock. It does not emit CO2 and generates almost no air pollution when used. Therefore, clean (or green) hydrogen can help decarbonise energy intensive industries, the transport sector and the power sector. But hydrogen technologies have to become more mature and, most of all, hydrogen deployment needs to achieve a far larger scale and its production must become decarbonised.
That's why, In 2020, almost all EU countries (Italy included) signed a manifesto paving the way for a cleaner hydrogen value chain. In this scenario, some IPCEIs (Important projects of common European interest) for the hydrogen sector were planned. The EU IPCEI model is essential, because many large scale research and devolpment projects in new technologies are often underfunded. They cannot be sustained by the market, simply because there is still no market to address, and fail. IPCEIs, instead, can be helped by EU funding.
Now the EU Commission gave the green light to a 5,4 billion euros investment for the first hydrogen IPCEI: Hydrogen Technology or Hy2Tech. A big part of these funds (1 billion euros) have been assigned to Italian projects. More precisely, the Commission selected six industrial projects of Italian companies (Alstom, Ansaldo, De Nora/Snam, Enel, Fincantieri, Iveco) and two research projects (by ENEA and Fondazione Bruno Kessler - FBK).
IPCEIs are defined as large projects that address a market failure or other important systemic failures in a European context based on common European interests. They must significantly contribute to strategic EU objectives, involve several EU countries, involve private financing, generate positive spillover effects across the EU. In the case of innovation projects, they must be of a major innovative nature, going beyond the state of the art in the sector concerned.