The increase of intermittent renewable electricity raises the need for more flexibility and energy storage in the power market. Falling costs of renewable power open the possibility to generate hydrogen at large scale from renewable power through electrolysis. Several sectors, including refineries, chemical industry, transport, and the natural gas sector are exploring the reduction of their CO2 footprint by incorporating large quantities of renewable hydrogen in their processes.
The challenge is to demonstrate a large-scale electrolyser converting renewable energy into renewable hydrogen for use in an end–market valorising the renewable character of the hydrogen. The electrolyser technology should be at a scale that can modularly be implemented to achieve large capacities (tens of MW), in view of reducing both investment (CAPEX) and operating costs (OPEX). It should be developed to operate flexibly to harvest maximum renewable power and provide grid-balancing services.
The challenges addressed by the project are:
The project should aim at demonstrating electrolyser technologies beyond actual state-of-the-art producing hydrogen with favourable economic conditions, e.g. upstream of the point a wind park is connected to the grid, when power prices are low, when additional revenue can be generated by providing high value grid balancing services and where the renewable character of the hydrogen can be valorised.
The scope of the project is:
It is expected that proposal will address any industrial sector that has not until now been supported by the FCH 2 JU, e.g. use of hydrogen in steel manufacturing or direct replacement of net hydrogen demand in refinery should be excluded. The power connection costs, building costs and the electricity costs for the commissioning phase are eligible for funding. Electricity costs during demonstration / business operation are not eligible. The results of a techno-economic assessment should be reported after each year of operation, including information on the individual cost and revenue streams related to the electrolyser.
TRL at start: 7 and TRL at end: 8.
Any safety-related event that may occur during execution of the project shall be reported to the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) dedicated mailbox JRC-PTT-H2SAFETY@ec.europa.eu, which manages the European hydrogen safety reference database, HIAD.
Test activities should collaborate and use the protocols developed by the JRC Harmonisation Roadmap (see section 3.2.B "Collaboration with JRC – Rolling Plan 2018"), in order to benchmark performance of components and allow for comparison across different projects.
The maximum FCH 2 JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 11 million. This is an eligibility criterion – proposals requesting FCH 2 JU contributions above this amount will not be evaluated.
More than one project may be funded for different electrolyser technologies and/or different market applications (industrial sectors).
Expected duration: 5 to 6 years (including minimum 3 to 4 years of demonstration).
The proposal is expected to demonstrate in an operational environment improved electrolysis technology at the 10s of MW scale, configured to attract revenues from grid services and/or power price opportunities in addition to the main business of providing bulk renewable hydrogen to an industrial scale hydrogen user.
The consortium will ensure that actions are included in the project to generate learning and reach KPI and commercial targets, such as:
Proposals should describe how learnings will be communicated and dissemination beyond the consortium (upon sanitation to protect business data), including those regions in Europe where large-scale electrolysis has not yet been demonstrated.
Type of action: Innovation Action
The conditions related to this topic are provided in the chapter 3.3 and in the General Annexes to the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018– 2020 which apply mutatis mutandis.