The European Commission has approved a €450 million Italian scheme to support renewable hydrogen production to promote the transition to a net-zero economy, in line with the Green Deal business plan. The scheme was approved under the temporary crisis and transition framework for state aid that the Commission adopted on March 9th, 2023, to support measures in sectors that are key to accelerating the green transition and reducing fuel dependency.
The new framework partially amends and extends the temporary crisis framework, adopted on March 23rd, 2022, to enable member states to support the economy against the backdrop of the current geopolitical crisis and already amended on July 20th, 2022, and October 28th, 2022.
“This €450 million scheme will enable Italy to accelerate the deployment of renewable hydrogen capacity, in line with the EU hydrogen strategy,” said Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president responsible for Competition. “It will also help Italy reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports, in line with the REPowerEU plan, while limiting competitive distortions as much as possible.”
Read more about the production of renewable hydrogen in Italy and find the most important business news of the day with the Born2Invest mobile app.
Things to know about the renewable hydrogen production
The measure, funded under the Recovery and Resilience Facility, will be available to businesses of all sizes operating in Italy. Government support will take the form of direct grants to cover investment costs; the maximum amount of aid per project will be €20 million. The Commission found that the Italian scheme meets the conditions set out in the temporary crisis and transition framework. Specifically: the aid will be granted on the basis of a scheme including volume and budget estimates; the amount of aid will be determined through a competitive bidding process; and the aid will be granted before December 31, 2025.
The Commission concluded that the Italian scheme is necessary, appropriate, and proportionate for the purpose of accelerating the green transition and facilitating the development of certain economic activities that are important for the implementation of the REPowerEU plan and the Green Deal industrial plan, in accordance with Article 107(3)(c) TFEU and the stable conditions in the temporary crisis and transition framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the aid measure as complying with the Union’s state aid rules.
Some startups focusing on renewable hydrogen
Green Energy Storage (GES)
GES, an innovative pmi from Trentino founded in 2015 by Salvatore Pinto and led by Matteo Mazzotta, specializes in the battery sector with a 100% green, hydrogen-based technology with a hybrid gas/liquid technology platform, aims to give birth to a new generation of non-toxic, safe storage batteries that operate at room temperature and are composed of readily available materials.
In May 2022, Green Energy Storage received from the European Union and the Italian government, access to funds for €53 million from the IPCEI Batteries 2 project, dedicated to the research and development of innovative solutions along the entire battery value chain for environmental sustainability.
Hysytech, is an innovative startup founded in 2003 in Turin that has developed H2Genio, a technology for generating hydrogen from biogas, which in turn is obtained from organic waste or wastewater. In addition to allowing waste materials to be reused, its method allows hydrogen to be produced with twenty times less electricity consumption than electrolysis, the process that employs electrolyzers.
Hysytech has developed an experimental plant for hydrogen from biogas, BioroburPlus, which can provide 50 Nm3/h (normal cubic meters, i.e., at standard conditions, per hour, a unit of measurement) of clean fuel, apart from a reduced input of fossil energy needed to drive the processor and pumps. His project was funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 research program.
StoreH, is an innovative startup based in Rovereto, Italy, that has developed a green technology by harnessing the potential of hydrogen: Hydrogen on Demand (Hod) can be used in homes, industries, and wind and solar power plants for intermittent energy storage.
It is a device that stores zinc and water and reacts with them to make hydrogen. The latter can be used in a fuel cell to produce electricity and heat with zero emissions.
SolydEra, a startup from Trentino, has created Bluegen: this is a micro-cogenerator based on fuel cell technology that extracts hydrogen from methane and converts it into electricity and heat. It can be installed in both homes and commercial buildings and provides significant emission savings because the gas that powers it is not burned.
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First published in StartupItalia, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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