The Commission and key stakeholders will sign today a joint declaration highlighting the crucial role of sustained efforts in renewable hydrogen research and innovation. Through this declaration, the Commission together with the European hydrogen industry, scientific community, and European regions, commit to stepping up and accelerating joint actions in research, development, demonstration, and deployment of Hydrogen Valleys. In line with the EU Hydrogen Strategy and contributing to the REPowerEU Plan and the Green Deal Industrial Plan objectives, these powerhouses connect hydrogen production, transportation, and a range of cutting-edge applications – from clean mobility to industrial feedstock – creating fully functional and sustainable clusters of supply and demand, advancing renewable hydrogen deployment and as a result driving forward the clean energy transition.
The joint declaration also calls for sustained investments, strengthening synergies between funding resources, sharing knowledge, stimulating the development of education and training for skills, and building regional hydrogen networks and interconnections between Hydrogen Valleys.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said: “Hydrogen Valleys are key for the creation of a European research and innovation area for hydrogen. They prove that European cooperation can catalyse innovation, create jobs and opportunities while tackling the great energy challenges of our times. And we will rapidly hit the target of doubling the number of operational Hydrogen Valleys by 2025.”
The joint declaration will be signed in an event hosted by the Commission in Brussels. It will bring together over 300 leading stakeholders in hydrogen. A press point with Commissioner Gabriel; Melissa Verykios, Chair of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership Governing Board; Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe; and Luigi Crema, President of Hydrogen Europe Research, will take place at 15:55 CET in Autoworld Brussels.
Years of support to research and innovation on hydrogen have put the EU in the global lead for key hydrogen technologies, notably electrolysers, hydrogen refuelling stations and megawatt-scale fuel cells. Horizon Europe supports the Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (CHJU) with €1 billion, matched by the same amount from industry and research partners. As part of REPowerEU, the Commission has allocated an additional €200 million to the CHJU to accelerate the rollout of Hydrogen Valleys. The Commission also recently granted approximately €4 million under Erasmus+ for a long-term partnership between industry and education to develop advanced skills for the hydrogen economy.
Other EU programmes also offer opportunities for investment in Hydrogen Valleys such as the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the Cohesion policy funds under the relevant smart specialisation priorities, and the Connecting Europe Facility.