Ce topic appartient à l'appel HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022
Identifiant du topic: HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-06-02

Hydrogen Valleys (small-scale)

Type d'action : HORIZON JU Innovation Actions
Nombre d'étapes : Single stage
Date d'ouverture : 31 mars 2022
Date de clôture : 20 septembre 2022 17:00
Budget : €121 000 000
Call Identifier : HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-2
Description :


Building on the successful experience of previous years (Hydrogen Valleys in the FCH 2 JU call 2019 and Hydrogen Islands in the FCH 2 JU call 2020), this topic calls for the deployment of a flagship[1] Hydrogen Valley in areas of Europe with no or limited presence of Hydrogen Valleys such as, but not necessarily limited to, Central and Eastern European Countries.

Proposals under this topic are expected to demonstrate how they contribute to the objectives of the European Hydrogen Strategy and the European Green Deal.

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • At least [5] additional H2 Valleys projects are initiated before 2027;
  • Replicable model for production or distribution and storage and end-use applications, in view of optimisation of investments as key parameter for financial viability;
  • Improved public perception of H2 ecosystems, with the aim to contributing towards an EU hydrogen infrastructure backbone, e.g. HRS network, H2 pipeline, NG pipeline retrofitted to H2, etc.

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following objectives of the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA for H2 Valleys. In particular:

  • System integration: integrating several elements together to improve overall synergies and facilitate sector coupling;
  • System efficiency: improvement of overall energy and economic efficiency of the integrated system;
  • Improved security and resilience of the energy system, e.g. via hydrogen production using locally available renewable energy sources,
  • Market creation: demonstration of new market for hydrogen
  • Complementarity of hydrogen with RES, integration with other technologies, existing infrastructure;
  • Assessment of the availability and affordability of clean (pollution free) energy provision for industry and cities uses; whilst also considering environmental impacts like water utilisation;
  • Mutualisation of production or distribution and storage, assuming decentralisation as key parameter;
  • Help set or test regulation requirements at the relevant governance level;
  • Increase the knowledge management with assessment of the socio-economic and environmental impacts, including the concept of digital twin assuring an effective monitor and optimisation strategy for the operation and further development of the valley;
  • Development of public awareness of hydrogen technologies including contributions from Social Science and Humanities if this was relevant.
  • Support development of Hydrogen Valleys in areas of Europe with no or limited presence of Hydrogen Valleys.

In addition, proposals should demonstrate how they intend to reach the KPIs of the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA 2021-2027 for each of the technologies deployed in the H2 Valley.


A Hydrogen Valley is covering a defined geographical area in which hydrogen serves in general more than one end user or application in mobility, industry and energy. They typically comprise a substantial financial investment and cover as much as possible the necessary steps in the hydrogen value chain, from production (and often even dedicated renewable electricity production) to subsequent storage and its transport & distribution to various off-takers. Hydrogen Valleys are starting to form regional "hydrogen economies”. Such projects are necessary for piloting global hydrogen markets and should be expanded in number or scale to demonstrate the full range of benefits from the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier

The scope of this topic is to develop, deploy and demonstrate a hydrogen valley having the aim to increase in size and characteristics overtime. Particular attention is given to actions supporting the design and development of a Hydrogen Valley in areas of Europe with no or limited presence of Hydrogen Valleys such as, but not necessarily limited to, Central and Eastern European Countries.


Proposals should:

  • Showcase the ability of hydrogen and its associated technologies to decarbonise one or two sectors in EU through this renewable hydrogen flagship project;
  • Demonstrate how hydrogen enables sector coupling and allows integration of renewable energy on the selected territory;
  • Include plans for transport, storage and distribution of hydrogen with a growing level of ambition over the years;
  • Cover the complete value chain of H2 from production to distribution, storage and end-use in order to decarbonise a geographical area by harnessing renewables with significant fluctuations in seasonal energy demand, while at the same time allowing matching supply and demand on a daily basis. The proposed solution should thus provide energy flexibility and improve the Regions’ system resilience through the use of renewable hydrogen. Applicants are expected to consider the environmental impact, including water utilisation;
  • Contain a calendar clearly defining the key phases of the implementation of the action (i.e. preparation of the specifications of equipment, manufacturing, deployment and operation) and their duration. Proposals should foresee enough time for monitoring and assessment. The monitoring strategy should as a minimum allow to assess compliance with the KPIs of the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA 2021-2027 for each of the technologies covered, as mentioned in the expected outcome section.

Size and characteristics of the H2 Valley demonstration

Proposals should:

  • Produce at least 500 tons of renewable H2[2] per year;
  • Use the hydrogen produced to supply more than one end sector or application in the mobility, industry, and energy sector. The two main applications should each use at least 20% of the whole hydrogen produced.

The volumes of H2 produced and distributed for the different end uses should be consistent with the amount of investment considered.

H2 Markets

Proposals should demonstrate existing and new markets for renewable hydrogen, especially when applications are used in synergies.

Economic growth

Proposals should:

  • Demonstrate how different actors, public and private, at European national and regional level will work together, across the entire value chain, to build a dynamic hydrogen ecosystem in the geographical area involved. In particular, proposals should demonstrate how the Hydrogen Valley development will be accompanied by economic growth, skills development and job creation;
  • Promote and enable a renewable hydrogen ecosystem in the area, as a new economic vector and as mechanism of creating value for their population;
  • Promote the economic growth and focus shifting to new technologies (e.g. reindustrialisation based on hydrogen technologies);
  • Demonstrate the expected value added that the development of the Hydrogen Valley will bring to the affected region/s by including the intended approach that would be followed to maximise the value added created.

Impact and replicability

Proposals should:

  • Develop a medium-to long-term vision on how the Hydrogen Valley developed is expected to grow;
  • Demonstrate the replicability and scalability of the project with the aim of facilitating further deployments of Hydrogen Valleys in other locations in Europe;
  • Build on the learnings and create links with previous and ongoing similar projects (e.g. H2020 projects BIG-HIT[3], HEAVENN[4] and GreenHysland[5]);
  • Demonstrate how they intend to create links with other H2 Valleys initiatives in Europe (e.g. S3 Hydrogen Valleys Platform[6], HyLand[7] Regions in Germany) but also international (e.g. Mission Innovation 2.0 - Clean Hydrogen Mission[8]);
  • Include sufficiently targeted and professional communication activities and campaigns with the aim to increase public acceptance of H2 ecosystems.

Commitment of stakeholders and additional financing/funding

Applicants may consider additional synergies with other Programmes (e.g. European Structural and Investment Funds, Recovery and Resilience Facility, Just Transition Fund, Connecting Europe Facility, Innovation Fund, Modernisation Fund, LIFE, etc.) and/or clustering with other projects within Horizon Europe or funded under other EU, national or regional programmes, or having loans through the EIB or other promotional or commercial banks; such synergies should be reflected in a financing structure and strategy describing the business model, including envisaged sources of co-funding/co-financing and in line with state-aid rules.

Evidence of the Commitment and role of public authorities (Member States, Regions and Cities) and of any other necessary stakeholders at least in the form of Letters of Intent (LOIs) should be provided. The practical implementation of this LOIs will be followed during the Grant Agreement implementation.

This topic is expected to contribute to EU competitiveness and industrial leadership by supporting a European value chain for hydrogen and fuel cell systems and components.

It is expected that Guarantees of origin (GOs) will be used to prove the renewable character of the hydrogen that is produced/used. In this respect consortium may seek out the issuance/purchase and subsequent cancellation of GOs from the relevant Member State issuing body and if that is not yet available the consortium may proceed with the issuance/purchase and cancellation of non-governmental certificates (e.g CertifHy[9]).

Proposals should provide a preliminary draft on ‘hydrogen safety planning and management’ at the project level, which will be further updated during project implementation.

Proposals are expected to contribute towards the activities of Mission Innovation 2.0 - Clean Hydrogen Mission. Cooperation with entities from Clean Hydrogen Mission member countries, which are neither EU Member States nor Horizon Europe Associated countries, is encouraged (see section International Cooperation).

The TRL of the applications in the project should be at least 6 at the beginning of the project while the overall concept should target a TRL 8 at the end of the project.

At least one partner in the consortium must be a member of either Hydrogen Europe or Hydrogen Europe Research.

The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 8.00 million – proposals requesting Clean Hydrogen JU contributions above this amount will not be evaluated.

The conditions related to this topic are provided in the chapter of the Clean Hydrogen JU 2022 Annual Work Plan and in the General Annexes to the Horizon Europe Work Programme 2021–2022 which apply mutatis mutandis.

[1]For definition of flagship see section 5.3. of the Clean Hydrogen JU Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda 2021 – 2027

[2]As defined in the EU Taxonomy – see: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:d84ec73c-c773-11eb-a925-01aa75ed71a1.0021.02/DOC_2&format=PDF, p.57