Grant information


closed    Opened: 30 March 2022   |   Closes: 31 May 2022

Overview

Off-grid locations offer an attractive opportunity to incorporate new Renewable Energy Sources (RES) into the energy system without requiring an electricity grid infrastructure to connect the electrolyser system; and in addition grid fees are avoided. Such locations can be remote areas where the grid cannot be easily deployed, or places where the grid is weak, or it is already saturated with renewable sources. The hydrogen produced in these locations is unquestionably renewable hydrogen and would allow demonstrating its use for seasonal energy storage and industry uses. Furthermore, the development and improvement of such renewables and hydrogen integrated systems can play an important role for energy communities and distributed energy models, not only inside the EU but also in locations with relevant renewable energy production capacity and limited grid development, such as Northern Africa. There are two main barriers to overcome in an off-grid hydrogen production site, (i.e. cost and efficient energy management), and projects at the scale of several MW are now required to tackle these barriers.

Projects are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Installation of electrolysers to decarbonise existing hydrogen production in locations where the electricity grid is unavailable, weak or saturated;
  • Allowing increased amounts of renewable generation through optimised integration between RES, electrolysers and large-scale hydrogen storage improving flexibility, efficiency and cost.
  • Showcase the role of electrolysis in locations with insufficient infrastructure for connecting electrolysers to the grid, where RES feed-in or electrolyser connections are limited by grid capacity constraints, or where grid fees are an economic barrier;
  • Understanding the complexities of design, commissioning, and operation of MW size projects in off-grid environments with the aim to reduce technical and financial risks of similar projects;
  • Direct coupling of large-scale renewable and hydrogen production installations involving optimisation of overall system conversion efficiency. Investigation of potential changes in renewable technologies as well as hydrogen technologies;
  • Obtaining a representative comparison in cost and hydrogen production and storage of off-grid vs on-grid electrolysis, also considering scenarios where hydrogen is transported (either on-shore, or also to or from off-shore) instead of electricity to hydrogen consumption points;
  • Identification of the optimal balance between RES power installed, stack power, H2 production and storage;
  • Showcase the versatility of hydrogen as an efficient energy storage tool for balancing production/demand applied to different end uses cases;
  • Stimulation of the development of new Renewable Energy Supply (RES) in local "renewable hydrogen valleys" where local produced energy is also used locally;
  • Determining the opportunities and restrictions of off-grid electrolysis, including the impact of the absence of grid- and transport fees while adding hydrogen storage costs;
  • Increasing awareness and support for local renewable hydrogen production and consumption, including models to increase share benefits of local RES with the local community;
  • Identification of appropriate business models for reducing costs and accelerating the transition to decarbonisation for various sectors;
  • Learnings on off-grid renewable hydrogen generation at large scale in areas with existing gas infrastructure e.g. pipelines and to underground storage, islands and remote areas, and an assessment of the time-varying interactions between hydrogen production, storage and end use;
  • To become the seed of an “off-grid” hydrogen valley.

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following objectives of the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA:

  • MW scale direct coupling to renewable generation (both on- and off-grid) including offshore hydrogen production, aiming at identifying the best system configuration to reach competitiveness.

Project results will also contribute to speed up the achievement of some of the KPIs of the Clean Hydrogen JU for LT-WE according to the following figures for each technology:

  • AEL, Hot idle ramp time (sec) 30, Cold start ramp time (sec) 900, electricity consumption @ nominal capacity (kWh/kg) 49, Degradation (%/1,000h) 0.11, Current density (A/cm2) 0.7, Use of critical raw materials as catalysts (mg/W) 0.3;
  • PEMEL, Hot idle ramp time (sec) 1, Cold start ramp time (sec) 10, electricity consumption @ nominal capacity (kWh/kg) 52, Degradation (%/1,000h) 0.15, Current density (A/cm2) 2.4, Use of critical raw materials as catalysts (mg/W) 1.25.

Scope

The main objective of this topic is to demonstrate the complete value chain of off-grid hydrogen production, storage and end-use installations at MW scale.

In regions of high renewable resource where the electricity grid is either heavily utilised or non-existent, off-grid hydrogen production provides the only opportunity for harnessing renewable energy at scale. Off-grid electrolysers should be designed to be coupled directly to variable solar/wind power sources and survive periods of zero power generation and poor weather, without recourse to the electricity grid. In this way they can access renewable electricity at least cost, by avoiding the usual fees and tariffs that are imposed for grid connection by grid operators, electricity suppliers and regulators. The combination of high renewable resource and low-cost electricity suggests that hydrogen could be produced at low cost, provided that suitable off-grid electrolysers are developed.

The electrolyser function cannot rely on a stable energy source (AC grid); it has to perform across the whole range of operation with high flexibility and use advanced control systems to efficiently utilise the time-varying renewable electricity input. The electrolyser system needs to include some energy storage (eg. by incorporating batteries, hydrogen storage and fuel cells) to ensure that the electrolyser is always protected during dormant periods (especially freezing weather conditions) and is ready to operate as soon as the renewable generation begins. More development is needed to achieve better ratios of BoP/stack power at all ranges of operation, looking for improvement in the electricity consumption of components (intensity) during operation, in order to realise cost-effective and efficient off grid electrolyser solutions. Also, further development is needed to find optimised and cost-efficient system architectures for the coupling between RES and the system. Direct connection of the RES source to the stack (DC/DC) has been satisfactorily demonstrated for units at 50 kW scale in a strict off-grid environment (TRL 6), obtaining 97% of efficiency across the whole range of operation, which makes the scale up to MW scale feasible by adapting the design to cope with higher input voltages and currents. Modifications to be applied to renewables technologies in terms of DC/DC conversion are also conceivable, and suitable ways to include batteries and supercapacitors for safe stand-alone operation can be explored.

To optimise the efficiency, cost reduction, flexibility, and reliability (security of supply) of the whole value chain adding hydrogen storage (or hydrogen transport in comparison to electricity transport), it is essential to support the role of electrolysis in off-grid configuration. In this respect, optimisation of the control strategy and alignment with the storage system specifics (and other components of the value chain) to improve overall system efficiency and lifetime for the complete facility has to be taken into consideration. Projects should provide a preliminary analysis for relevant geographical regions, including country-specific challenges, a sustainability assessment for the environmental impact, social acceptance, as well as economic feasibility.

The participation of inter- and trans-disciplinary consortia combining expertise and capacity covering both renewables and hydrogen technologies from public authorities, industrial stakeholders, infrastructure providers, knowledge institutions, planners, entrepreneurs, societal actors and citizens is advised to address the challenges.

In addition, proposals should address the following aspects:

  • As the aim of the topic is to cover the whole value chain and depending on the application the cost of certain components may be more relevant than others, the following ranges are to be considered. Size of electrolysis system: 3 to 5 MW. Minimum size of hydrogen storage: 4 tonnes;
  • Proposals should be oriented to optimise the performance of the system, with particular attention paid to the effects on electrolyser’s efficiency and degradation rate on hydrogen production, as well as to power conversion, system control and other critical parameters. The KPI values as indicated above should be achieved at the end of the project, with the exception of the capital cost KPI. It is recognised that the cost of a MW scale off-grid electrolyser system may be significantly different to that of a grid-connected electrolyser of the same size;
  • Proposals should secure downstream use, and it should include integration with enough storage to match discontinuous generation with hydrogen end uses. The end use of the hydrogen should be included and clarified in the proposal including a viable business case. All decisions relating to pressurised or atmospheric electrolyser operation, the use of compressors, and the amount and type of hydrogen storage should be justified;
  • Proposals should also build upon knowledge and experience from relevant previously funded FCH JU projects[1], like ELY4OFF and REMOTE;
  • Proposals should consider periods for scheduled maintenances of the system and estimate the performance of the system on that period;
  • Strict off-grid conditions are desirable, although connection to the grid for testing, control and safety reasons can be foreseen;
  • The system (demonstrator) developed by the project should operate for at least one complete year. This includes the complete value chain covering off-grid hydrogen production, storage, and end use.

Costs of equipment besides the electrolyser can be considered eligible as long as proposals demonstrate that they are essential for implementation of the project, e.g. compression of hydrogen, storage and any essential end-use technology. Costs related to the development of renewable energy technologies specifically designed for off-grid hydrogen production, e.g. a hydrogen producing wind turbine, would also be considered eligible.

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.

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

It is expected that Guarantees of origin (GOs) will be used to prove the renewable character of the hydrogen that is produced. In this respect consortium may seek out the issuance 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 and cancellation of non-governmental certificates (e.g CertifHy[2]).

Activities developing test protocols and procedures for the performance and durability assessment of electrolysers and fuel cell components proposals should foresee a collaboration mechanism with JRC (see section 2.2.4.3 "Collaboration with JRC"), in order to support EU-wide harmonisation. Test activities should adopt the already published EU harmonised testing protocols to benchmark performance and quantify progress at programme level.

Activities are expected achieve TRL 7 by the end of the project.

The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 9.00 million – proposals requesting Clean Hydrogen JU contributions above this amount will not be evaluated.

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

The conditions related to this topic are provided in the chapter 2.2.3.2 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]https://www.clean-hydrogen.europa.eu/projects-repository_en

[2]https://www.certifhy.eu/

General Conditions

  1. Admissibility conditions: described in Annex A and Annex E of the Horizon Europe Work Programme General Annexes

 Proposal page limits and layout: described in Part B of the Application Form available in the Submission System

 Additional condition: For all Innovation Actions the page limit of the applications are 70 pages.

  1. Eligible countries: described in Annex B of the Work Programme General Annexes

A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon Europe projects. See the information in the Horizon Europe Programme Guide.

 

  1.  Other eligibility conditions: described in Annex B of the Work Programme General Annexes

Additional eligibility condition: Maximum contribution per topic

For some topics, in line with the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA, an additional eligibility criterion has been introduced to limit the Clean Hydrogen JU requested contribution mostly for actions performed at high TRL level, including demonstration in real operation environment and with important involvement from industrial stakeholders and/or end users such as public authorities. Such actions are expected to leverage co-funding as commitment from stakeholders. It is of added value that such leverage is shown through the private investment in these specific topics. Therefore, proposals requesting contributions above the amounts specified per each topic below will not be evaluated:

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-01-07 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 9.00 million

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-03-03 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 30.00 million

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-03-05 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 15.00 million

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-04-01 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 7.00 million

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-06-01 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 25.00 million

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-06-02 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 8.00 million

 Additional eligibility condition: Membership to Hydrogen Europe/Hydrogen Europe Research

For some topics, in line with the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA, an additional eligibility criterion has been introduced to ensure that one partner in the consortium is a member of either Hydrogen Europe or Hydrogen Europe Research. This concerns topics targeting actions for large-scale demonstrations, flagship projects and strategic research actions, where the industrial and research partners of the Clean Hydrogen JU are considered to play a key role in accelerating the commercialisation of hydrogen technologies by being closely linked to the Clean Hydrogen JU constituency, which could further ensure full alignment with the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda of the Industry and the SRIA188 of the JU. This approach shall also ensure the continuity of the work performed within projects funded through the H2020 and FP7, by building up on their experience and consolidating the EU value-chain. This applies to the following topics: 

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-07

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-08

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-10

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -02-08

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-03

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-05

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -04-01

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-01

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-02

 - HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -07-01

 Additional eligibility condition: Participation of African countries

For one topic the following additional eligibility criteria have been introduced to allow African countries to i) participate in proposal, ii) be eligible for funding and iii) ensure a sufficient geographical coverage of the African continent. This concerns the following topic: 

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -05-5

Manufacturing Readiness Assessment

For some topics a definition of Manufacturing Readiness Level has been introduced in the Annexes of the Annual Work Programme. This is necessary to evaluate the status of the overall manufacturing activities included in the following topics:

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-04

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -04-01

  1. Financial and operational capacity and exclusion: described in Annex C of the Work Programme General Annexes
  2. Evaluation and award:
  • Award criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex D of the Work Programme General Annexes
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in Annex F of the Work Programme General Annexes and the Online Manua

Exemption to evaluation procedure: complementarity of projects

For some topics in order to ensure a balanced portfolio covering complementary approaches, grants will be awarded to applications not only in order of ranking but at least also to one additional project that is / are complementary, provided that the applications attain all thresholds

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-03

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-04

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-09

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -02-10

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-01

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-02

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-04

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -04-04

Seal of Excellence

For two topics the ‘Seal of Excellence’ will be awarded to applications exceeding all of the evaluation thresholds set out in this Annual Work Programme but cannot be funded due to lack of budget available to the call. This will further improve the chances of good proposals, otherwise not selected, to find alternative funding in other Union programmes, including those managed by national or regional Managing Authorities. With prior authorisation from the applicant, the Clean Hydrogen JU may share information concerning the proposal and the evaluation with interested financing authorities, subject to the conclusion of confidentiality agreements. In this Annual Work Programme ‘Seal of Excellence’ will be piloted for topics:

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-01

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-02

  • Indicative timeline for evaluation and grant agreement: described in Annex F of the Work Programme General Annexes
  1. Legal and financial set-up of the grants: described in Annex G of the Work Programme General Annexes

In addition to the standard provisions, the following specific provisions in the model grant agreement will apply:

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), background and results, access rights and rights of use (article 16 and Annex 5 of the Model Grant Agreement (MGA)).

  • An additional information obligation has been introduced for topics including standardisation activities: ‘Beneficiaries must, up to 4 years after the end of the action, inform the granting authority if the results could reasonably be expected to contribute to European or international standards’. These concerns the topics below:

Additional information obligation for topics including standardisation activities

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -02-09

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-04

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -05-02

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -05-03

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -05-04

  • For all topics in this Work Programme Clean Hydrogen JU shall have the right to object to transfers of ownership of results, or to grants of an exclusive licence regarding results, if: (a) the beneficiaries which generated the results have received Union funding; (b) the transfer or licensing is to a legal entity established in a non-associated third country; and (c) the transfer or licensing is not in line with Union interests. The grant agreement shall contain a provision in this respect.

Full capitalised costs for purchases of equipment, infrastructure or other assets purchased specifically for the action

For some topics, in line with the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA, mostly large-scale demonstrators or flagship projects specific equipment, infrastructure or other assets purchased specifically for the action (or developed as part of the action tasks) can exceptionally be declared as full capitalised costs. This concerns the topics below:

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-07: electrolyser and other hydrogen related equipment essential for implementation of the project, (e.g. compression of hydrogen, storage and any essential end-use technology)

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-08: electrolyser, its BoP and any other hydrogen related equipment essential for the implementation of the project (e.g. hydrogen storage)

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-10: electrolyser, its BOP and any other hydrogen related equipment essential for implementation of the project (e.g. offshore infrastructure, renewable electricity supply infrastructure, storages, pipelines and other auxiliaries required to convey and utilise the hydrogen)

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -02-08: compression prototype/s and related components

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-03: trucks, fuel cell system, on-board hydrogen storage and other components needed in a hydrogen truck

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-05: vessels, fuel cell system, on-board hydrogen storage and other components needed in a hydrogen fuel cell hydrogen vessel

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -04-01: manufacturing equipment and tooling

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-01: hydrogen production plant, distribution and storage infrastructure and hydrogen end-uses

- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-02: hydrogen production plant, distribution and storage infrastructure and hydrogen end-uses

Specific conditions

  1. Specific conditions: described in the chapter 2.2.3.2 of the Clean Hydrogen JU 2022 Annual Work Plan

Documents

Call documents:

Application form — As well available in the Submission System from March 31st 2022

Application form - Part B (HE CleanH2 RIA, IA)

Application form - Part B (HE CleanH2 CSA)

 Evaluation forms

Evaluation form (HE RIA, IA)

Evaluation form (HE CSA)

 Model Grant Agreement (MGA)

HE General MGA v1.0  

 Clean Hydrogen JU - Annual Work Programme 2022 (AWP 2022)

AWP 2022

 Clean Hydrogen JU - Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) 

SRIA - Clean Hydrogen JU 

Additional documents:

HE Main Work Programme 2021–2022 – 1. General Introduction

HE Main Work Programme 2021–2022 – 13. General Annexes

HE Programme Guide

HE Framework Programme and Rules for Participation Regulation 2021/695

HE Specific Programme Decision 2021/764

EU Financial Regulation

Rules for Legal Entity Validation, LEAR Appointment and Financial Capacity Assessment

EU Grants AGA — Annotated Model Grant Agreement

Funding & Tenders Portal Online Manual

Funding & Tenders Portal Terms and Conditions

Funding & Tenders Portal Privacy Statement

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