Today 1 March 2023, Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, opened ‘Repowering the EU with Hydrogen Valleys: showcasing innovative solutions’, the high-level event that brought together over 300 leading stakeholders from the EU hydrogen community to stage the EU R&I support for a clean energy transition and end our dependence on Russian fossil fuels.
Commissioner Gabriel said:
Renewable hydrogen plays a strategic role for our autonomy and we have to accelerate our path to foster a new growth. It is the momentum to move our renewable hydrogen economy from niche to scale.
Large investments all along the hydrogen value chain are required to increase the competitiveness of the EU renewable hydrogen industry. To this end, Horizon Europe invests EUR 1 billion in the Clean Hydrogen Partnership for research and innovation in the field.
Additionally, a Joint Declaration was also signed by Commissioner Gabriel, alongside prominent figures from industry, research, and various European regions during the event. The declaration aims to encourage continuous investment in research and innovation, promote collaboration between funding resources, knowledge sharing, education, and skills training. Additionally, it calls for the development of regional hydrogen networks and interconnections among Hydrogen Valleys.
Hydrogen Valleys are key to 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. With the REPowerEU plan, the Commission has allocated an additional EUR 200 million to the Clean Hydrogen Partnership to accelerate the deployment of Hydrogen Valleys in the EU.
To accelerate the deployment of Hydrogen Valleys across Europe and implement REPowerEU and the New European Innovation Agenda, Commissioner Gabriel will present a roadmap later in 2023. The challenges and opportunities faced by the actors of the hydrogen value chain will provide key input for its drafting.
Hydrogen Valleys catalyse innovation, create jobs and opportunities for researchers, innovators, students, teachers, and citizens. To ensure that actions for education and skills are connected with those on research and innovation, EUR 4 million under ERASMUS+ have been put aside to select 19 core jobs for the hydrogen industry and define the requirements for their curricula. To further strengthen the skills agenda, the Clean Hydrogen Partnership will support a European Hydrogen Academy.
“We will consolidate this path exploring Horizon Europe synergies with other programmes such as ERASMUS+ and the EIT for the future European Hydrogen Skills Alliance and the Deep Tech Talent Initiative” concludes Commissioner Gabriel.
EU hydrogen strategy
Publication: REPowering the EU with Hydrogen Valleys
The Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking
The Strategic Energy Technology Plan
Mission Innovation Hydrogen Valleys Platform
EC Spokesperson for Research, Science and Innovation