Spain’s Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) has announced the allocation of €150 million to twelve new projects under the second call of the H2 Pioneers initiative. This funding, sourced from NextGenEU funds of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR), will support innovative initiatives in renewable hydrogen, following the success of the first edition which also granted €150 million to 19 projects.
The H2 Pioneers program, part of the Strategic Project for the Recovery and Economic Transformation of Renewable Energy, Renewable Hydrogen and Storage (PERTE ERHA), aims to demonstrate the viability of new green hydrogen-based business models and stimulate market growth.
In this second round, the 12 top-rated projects by the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE) focus on integrated production and consumption of green hydrogen in industries and sectors challenging to decarbonize. These include food companies, the chemical industry, ceramics, maritime transport, and airport installations. Applications in heavy mobility are a feature of five projects, including three hydrogen generation stations, nine hydrogen-powered heavy vehicles, and conversion of logistics center forklift trucks to operate on renewable hydrogen.
Significantly, three projects are associated with the ports of Bilbao, Gijón, and Seville. Ten of the projects are located in areas of Fair Transition and/or Demographic Challenge, representing 84% of the aid awarded. Geographically, Andalusia, Aragon, and Castilla-La Mancha lead with multiple projects, along with others in Navarre, Euskadi, Catalonia, Galicia, and Asturias.
This call results in a 309 MW increase in electrolysis power, with the 12 selected proposals having an eligible cost of €502.2 million and mobilizing a total investment of €578.14 million. Notably, the average size of projects has increased due to the raised power limit to 50 MW and the sector’s natural evolution.
Most projects feature a renewable energy facility directly connected to the electrolyzer, with several also having grid connections and PPA agreements with renewable electricity producers. Maximum aid per project is €15 million, with a minimum investment threshold of €1 million, awarded as a subsidy upon project completion and verification of incurred eligible costs.
The beneficiaries are mostly single entities, with three business consortia including SME participation. The selection criteria focused on public aid effectiveness, positive impact in Fair Transition and Demographic Challenge areas, emission reduction, circular economy, job creation, gender equality, and environmental principles.
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