Following a successful edition last year, the second edition of the Green Hydrogen Investment Day took place at the European Commission this week as part of the wider European Hydrogen Week in Brussels.
The Investment Day is a partnership between EIT InnoEnergy’s European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center (EGHAC) and the European Commission’s European Clean Hydrogen Alliance (ECH2A). As a matchmaking event, the day aims to accelerate the commercialisation of hydrogen projects and de-risk European ventures to kick-start deals with leading investors.
EU has set ambitious domestic green hydrogen to help accelerate Europe’s decarbonization efforts and strengthen industrial competitiveness. Meeting this ambition requires innovative hydrogen projects to reach commercial scale faster.
Reaching Final Investment Decision (FID) for early-stage hydrogen projects – often considered high-risk – can be challenging. In 2022, hydrogen accounted for less than 2% of energy consumption across the European Union. Focusing efforts on financing hydrogen ventures for hard-to-abate industries such as steel or fertilisers which are difficult to electrify, can help accelerate decarbonisation pathways.
11 hand-selected European hydrogen ventures pitch to 35 investors
In partnership with the ECH2A, EGHAC launched a call for projects which provided a qualified pipeline of green hydrogen initiatives. The most relevant hydrogen ventures were chosen through a thorough due diligence and selection process. Once selected, the projects are provided with dedicated support to help strengthen their business case, including pitching training.
This year, 113 applications from European hydrogen ventures were made with a final selection of 11 start-ups short-listed to pitch at the Green Hydrogen Investment Day. 35 investors attended the matchmaking event including both public and private firms such the European Investment Bank, Santander, ING, Société Générale, Siemens Financial Services and Allianz.
Around half of hydrogen ventures present are developing projects to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors for the steel, fertilisers, maritime and shipping, and aviation industries. Other startups pitching focus efforts on technological innovation for hydrogen production including for electrolysers and manufacturing components, storage and liquefaction.
A strategic partnership between EGHAC and the European Commission
Hydrogen continues to be of strategic importance to the EU, with the opening of the long-awaited Hydrogen Bank this week. The public financing instrument will make €800 million available aiming to kick-start a market in renewable hydrogen and unlock further private investments. The next auction in the spring of 2024, is set to total €3 billion the European Commission President von der Leyen also announced this week.
This follows ambitious targets set under REPowerEU to generate 10 million tonnes of domestic renewable hydrogen by 2030, doubling the target previously set in the European Hydrogen Strategy.
Maive Rute, Deputy Director-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs said at the event: “The European Commission and Member States have provided a supportive regulatory framework for clean hydrogen, creating clearer conditions for clean hydrogen projects to become investible. Now it is time to get projects up and running – that’s what our Clean Hydrogen Alliance and this partnership with EGHAC aims to do.”
The European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center’s (EGHAC) ambition is to decarbonise hard to abate industrial value chains for sectors such as steel, fertilisers, chemicals, and mobility. As an active investor in green hydrogen as well as accelerator for early-stage projects, EGHAC offers both early-stage investment and acceleration services. By bringing all relevant stakeholders of a value chain together, including the off-takers, risk and benefits can be shared so that the premium for a greener product can be kept to minimum.