Grant information


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

Overview

The current generation of Low Temperature Water Electrolysers (LT-WE) are demonstrated on a large scale and are ready for mass production. However, to reduce the Levelised Cost of Hydrogen (LCOH) and to make renewable hydrogen competitive with hydrogen from fossil sources, continuous improvements to LT-WE systems that avoid energy and cost intensive downstream mechanical compression processes, especially in the first stages, are required. Therefore, to maintain and accelerate the European leadership position in water electrolysis technology and innovation in the whole supply chain, new research and innovation (in parallel to upscaling) are crucial in the electrolyser stack design as whole and the different critical components including Balance of Plant (BoP).

Low temperature water electrolysers are expected to produce hydrogen at high pressure (from 50 to 80 bar), accelerating the adoption in several applications such as gas grid injection, as well as utilisation in the chemical industry and at hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS), circumventing the initial compression stages.

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

  • Contributing to keep European leadership for pressurised hydrogen production including innovative embedded compression approaches based on: Alkaline (AEL) or Proton Exchange Membrane (PEMEL) or Anionic Exchange Membrane (AEMEL) Electrolyser systems;
  • Contributions to full scale demonstrators by 2027;
  • New business models for end use applications such as hydrogen injection in the existing gas grid and utilisation in the chemical industry;
  • A boost for future dedicated transmission gas network and methanol ammonia production while strengthening EU supply chain and HRS developers.

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

  • Improving efficiency by 2-4% (lower heating value, LHV) compared to the use of a mechanical compressor 0.5kWh for mechanical compression of 1kg H2 from 30 to 80 bar;
  • Increase system and components reliability and significantly reduce compression energy needs resulting in an overall lower levelised cost of hydrogen (LCOH) below 3 €/kg once integrated in the multi-MW electrolyser platform assuming 40 €/MWh and 4,000 full load hours operation;
  • Demonstrate the value of electrolysers for the power system through their ability to allow higher integration of renewables.

Research findings and outcomes at stack and balance of plant level will contribute to speed up the reduction of the levelised cost of hydrogen. Proposals should investigate the high-pressure effects on the overall electrolysis process, since the increase of gas solubility might reduce the dynamic operating range while increase the corrosion/degradation of the materials.

Some of the barriers to be addressed are in line to novel design concepts and compatible materials while finding some high-pressure specific components might be challenging.

Research will contribute to a faster achievement towards the 2024 KPIs of the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA, whilst allowing electrolysers to a fully integrated operation with renewable energy sources (RES) and direct gas grid connection and limiting the use of critical raw materials and precious metals as oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts or replace them completely with other (more) available metals.

The project results will also contribute to speed up the achievement of some of the key 2024 KPIs of the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA for LT-WE according to the following figures for each technology:

  • AEL, Electricity consumption @ nominal capacity (kWh/kg) 49, Degradation (%/1,000 hrs) 0.11, Minimum pressurisation levels (bar) 50, Minimum stack size (kW) 50;
  • PEMEL, Electricity consumption @ nominal capacity (kWh/kg) 52, Degradation (%/1,000 hrs) 0.15, Minimum pressurisation levels (bar) 80, Minimum stack size (kW) 50;
  • AEMEL, Electricity consumption @ nominal capacity (kWh/kg) 53, Degradation (%/1,000 hrs) 0.9, Minimum pressurisation levels (bar) 50, Minimum stack size (kW) 25.

Due to the higher pressure, the temperature may also be raised to above 100°C, which will in turn drastically reduce the H2 production energy consumption contributing to reduction in overall hydrogen production costs.

Scope

High-pressure electrolysers should be compatible with direct injection into chemical industry and gas networks both onshore and offshore as the avoidance of mechanical compressors are of crucial importance to reduce the LCOH and improve the availability of systems. The developed electrolysers may reach low LCOH for both centralised and decentralised applications due to the unique modular approach.

The scope of this project is to develop the next generation of water electrolysers (PEMEL or AEMEL) operating below 150 ºC for pressurised hydrogen production at the pressure of minimum 50 bar for AEL and AEMEL and 80 bar for PEMEL further advancing innovations developed in projects[1] like NEPTUNE and PRETZEL.

To this extent, breakthroughs in materials science of cell components should encompass advances in the cell design, cell architecture and BoP modules. This requires a completely new design enabling: low energy consumption and low degradation rates while contributing to reduce the hydrogen production costs.

Novel stack concepts should be designed, whilst innovations in BoP (e.g., integration of innovative compression solutions with electrolyser stacks), advanced materials with longer term durability and components (membranes/diaphragms, porous transport layers, bipolar plates, catalysts) developed and integrated into a short-stack prototype.

Targeted prototype scale and cell size should be appropriate for targeted application but a scale of minimum 50 kW for AEL and PEMEL and 25 kW for AEMEL, including larger cell areas than SoA, should be addressed.

Proposals should demonstrate how the concepts developed will be validated in a laboratory (TRL4) but should also include testing in relevant environment (TRL5) to pave the way for end-use applications (e.g. technology could be tested for injection in transmission natural gas grid). This includes the validation at the single cell and stack levels, testing the components at nominal, steady state and dynamic conditions and identifying a best candidate solution.

Operations at elevated pressures should be validated under various operating conditions (understood as directly scalable to multi-MW electrolysers) in order to develop new control strategies and to optimise operation at high-pressure and evaluate the effect of pressure in the case of hot starts and cold starts.

Proposals should investigate the high-pressure effects on the overall electrolysis process, both with respect to the effect of increased gas solubility, bubble-formation and the effect on electrode overpotentials and ohmic losses as well as the associated increase in gas cross-over at elevated pressures.

Optimal stack and cell design in terms of structure and geometry (e.g. spacing distances within the cell) should be within the scope of proposals.

Research on corrosion effects on the cells and/or lifetime prediction model and mitigation strategies should be conducted in order to maintain lifetime and degradation.

Proposals are expected to address sustainability and circularity aspects.

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[2] to benchmark performance and quantify progress at programme level.

Activities are expected to start at TRL 2 and achieve TRL 5 by the end of the project.

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.clean-hydrogen.europa.eu/knowledge-management/collaboration-jrc-0_en

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.

  2. 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

     

     

    1. 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

    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.

     

    • 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 inAnnex 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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