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Client Alert 12 Sep. 2023
Recently, the European Commission published the terms and conditions (“T&Cs”) for its pilot auction, focused on scaling up the production of renewable hydrogen in the European Economic Area (“EEA”). The pilot auction is funded by the Innovation Fund, through the EU Hydrogen Bank, with a €800 million budget. The release of the T&Cs is an important milestone in the hydrogen industry, providing potential bidders with information to begin preparing their bids, and giving other regions of the world a preview of how hydrogen financing can develop in the future.
The pilot auction is designed to achieve several objectives
The main goal of the pilot auction is to support the scale-up of production of renewable fuel of non-biological origin (“RFNBO”) hydrogen within the EEA. In addition, this competitive bidding mechanism is used with four objectives:
Bidders need to fulfill qualification requirements
The T&Cs set forth the qualification requirements that bidders must meet in order to have their bids evaluated. The qualification requirements, comprising admissibility, eligibility, and relevance and quality requirements, are designed to ensure that bidders have the capacity to implement the project, that the project is sufficiently advanced, and that participation in the pilot auction will not be used for speculative bidding.
The above qualification requirements will be assessed on a pass/fail basis.
Funding will be awarded for up to ten years of operation in the form of a fixed premium
Funding will be granted in the form of a fixed premium in €/kg of RFNBO hydrogen produced, and guaranteed for up to ten years after the entry into operation of the project. Awarded projects will enter into a grant agreement with the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (“CINEA”), the scheme’s implementing authority.
The Innovative Fund is financed by the EU ETS
The Innovative Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programs for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies. It is financed by the EU Emissions Trading System (“EU ETS”), which collects revenue from EEA polluters who must pay for their greenhouse gas emissions. The Innovative Fund’s support in renewable hydrogen projects should be seen as the seed funding that allows for increased private and corporate investments.
Please note that the pilot auction is scheduled to start on November 23, 2023 and close on February 8, 2024 (estimated).
Maria Paulina Santacruz Salazar
+1 212 696 6000
+57 (1) 485 0854
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