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European Union green lights EUR1.4 billion in state subsidies for hydrogen projects

Airbus, BMW and Michelin are among 11 companies set to receive millions in public subsidy to develop low-carbon hydrogen technology after European Union (EU) competition officials approved a “whopping package of state aid for an ‘important project of common European interest’ (IPCEI)” according to EuroNews.Green.

According to the EuroNews.Green website “the European Commission hopes to further boost EU clean energy technology by approving whopping state subsidies for a range of projects aimed at using hydrogen to replace fossil fuels in tranport.

“The Hy2Move project, which as its name implies is intended to develop transport fuels, was prepared jointly by Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia and Spain, who requested an exemption from single market rules that normally prohibit national subsidies.

“It is hoped the state aid will be matched by EUR3.3 billion in private sector investment into projects such as developing fuels cells sufficiently powerful for use in ships and trains, and lightweight hydrogen tanks that can safely store the explosive gas for use as an aviation fuel.

“Hy2Move is the fourth green hydrogen-related IPCEI to be approved after projects related to technology development, new real-world applications and infrastructure, and brings the total approved state subsidies to EUR18.9 billion.

“The upsurge of attention to hydrogen as a potential solution for decarbonising transport and heavy industry has led to talk of ‘hydrogen hype’, and even Commission officials have expressed doubts about meeting the 2030 annual production target of 10 million tonnes of green hydrogen.

“Under a recently adopted package of gas market rules, the European Commission has yet to develop legal criteria for ‘low-carbon hydrogen’, which NGOs warned last month must be robust enough to ensure ‘blue’ hydrogen made from natural gas is a genuinely climate friendly, and not merely a means of prolonging demand for the fossil fuel.”

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