The European Commission authorized a 5.4 billion euro ($5.4 billion) hydrogen initiative on Friday, jointly financed by 15 EU nations and 35 firms, including Alstom (ALSO.PA) and Daimler Truck (DTGGe.DE), in order to achieve a competitive advantage in an innovative field.

Other companies involved in the hydrogen scheme include Ansaldo, Bosch, Enel (ENEI.MI), Fincantieri (FCT.MI), Orsted (ORSTED.CO), and Plastic Omnium (PLOF.PA). The group will participate in 41 projects focusing on hydrogen generation, fuel cells, storage, transportation, and distribution of hydrogen, and end-user applications, particularly in the mobility sector.

“Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine has only underlined the need for Europe to diversify its energy sources and fast-forward the green transition,” said Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager at a press conference.

“Among the many technologies required,” she continued, “hydrogen proves to be an indispensable component.”

According to EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton, the initiative also emphasizes the EU’s shift away from fossil fuels.

“It enables the clean transition of energy-intensive industries and increases our independence from fossil fuels,” he said.

The IPCEI Hy2Tech initiative seeks an additional 8.8 billion euros in private investment.

Highly efficient electrode materials, high performance fuel cells, and new transport methods are among the products sought by the initiative.

In recent years, the 27-country bloc has authorized cooperatively financed initiatives in batteries, microelectronics, and infrastructure, designating such projects as Important Projects of Common European Interest subject to loosened state aid restrictions.

State assistance in the hydrogen program will be limited at the amount of the projects’ qualifying costs and financing gaps, with nations entitled to take back part of the help if the projects create additional net income.

Source: Reuters

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