North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley wins EUR 25m in EU funds

Ljubljana, 1 February - North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley, a transnational project whose lead partner is Slovenian energy company HSE, has received a EUR 25 million grant from the Horizon Europe Programme. The project involves Slovenia, Croatia and the Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia and is set to get under way in the second half of 2023.

This is the first transnational project in Europe designed to establish a dedicated hydrogen valley, HSE said on Wednesday. It is expected to take six years, and will start as soon as a date is agreed with the European Commission, most likely in the second half of the year.

A total of nine hydrogen projects were selected to receive a total of EUR 105.4 million in Horizon Europe funds as part of a 2022 call that was carried out by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, a public-private partnership supporting research and innovation activities in hydrogen technologies in Europe.

North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley brings together 34 organisations and covers the entire chain of stakeholders from production and storage to distribution and end use of hydrogen in various sectors, primarily in industry and transport.

The partners from the three countries will develop projects to produce more than 5,000 tonnes of green hydrogen a year in a bid to decarbonise key industrial sectors such as steel and cement production, and transport.

"This is an excellent example of inter-state and multi-disciplinary cooperation, which will facilitate, with the help of hydrogen technologies and through tapping into opportunities in energy storage, a faster green transition to emission-neutral society," HSE director general Tomaž Štokelj said on this occasion.

Hydrogen valleys are regional ecosystems related to hydrogen production, transport and its various uses, including in mobility or as an industrial material, according to the Clean Hydrogen Partnership.

The concept of hydrogen valleys is now one of the main priorities of industry and the Commission in a bid to expand the use of hydrogen and create connected hydrogen ecosystems around Europe.

Another hydrogen valley project, that in Baltic Sea regions, also won EUR 25 million, with seven smaller hydrogen valley projects receiving EUR 8 million.