Grant information


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

Overview

In order to ramp up renewable hydrogen production in the future, a suitable portfolio of diverse technologies is needed to serve the expected growing demand for different applications and markets. Since hydrogen technologies will be deployed on a broad range of markets and scales, abundant and cheap renewable energy resources need to be used. Solar energy has by far the highest potential of all options. In this context, solar thermochemical cycles may contribute to complement the electrochemical solar hydrogen production. Proposals under this topic aim to bring thermochemical cycles to the next stage of maturity.

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

  • Diversify the portfolio of technologies for the generation of renewable hydrogen;
  • Mitigate mid-to-long term risks of renewable hydrogen availability shortage through diversifying the technology options;
  • Enable solar thermochemical cycles as a viable and competitive hydrogen production technology;
  • Foster awareness and acceptance of renewable hydrogen production technologies.

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

  • Reaching solar-to-hydrogen energy conversion efficiencies higher than 10% (daily average based on higher heating value (HHV) and direct normal irradiance (DNI);
  • Ensuring hydrogen production cost < 5 €/kg for a scaled plant in multi-MW size;
  • Improving the efficiency of processes: average hydrogen production rates higher than 0.75 kg/year per m2 land area used (equivalent of 2.16 kg/day/m2 (receiver area) for a solar concentration factor of about 1,000);
  • Reducing CAPEX and OPEX: System capital cost in k€/kg/day (15.19 by 2024 and 7.41 by 2030); System operational cost in €/kg (0.59 by 2024 and 0.30 by 2030);

Provide a technology with robust materials and all components scalable to multi-MW-scale.

Scope

Thermochemical cycles can directly convert heat into chemical energy by a series of chemical reactions. The direct application of solar heat in water-splitting thermochemical cycles for renewable hydrogen production allows operating at relatively moderate to upper temperatures, reducing electricity consumption and also reducing production cost. Main technical challenges to be addressed are increasing the solar-to-hydrogen efficiency through process intensification, especially through highly efficient internal heat transfer and recovery as well as the scalability of the reactor concept to achieve high energy conversion efficiencies and high throughput. Two stages of development are foreseen for thermochemical cycles and for achievement of the indicated targets and KPIs.

The most promising and advanced solar thermal and hybrid water-splitting processes are those based on metal oxide cycles or on sulphur cycles (thermal and hybrid ones), where prototypes of core components and core production chain elements have been developed and tested at solar towers. Those cycles are attractive since they involve only few chemical steps with low complexity, leading to high reversibility and potentially high cycle efficiency.

One of the central measures to reach intermediate targets in terms of efficiency and cost is the improvement of heat management. It is necessary to recover and reuse a significant portion of the high temperature heat in order to increase the process efficiencies thus making the systems more attractive for commercial use. Several approaches for such heat recovery systems are currently under consideration and development. Proposals should demonstrate how they intend to address this.

Proposals should also address the heat recuperation from solid and gas phase by enhancing heat and mass transfer especially in the reactor using suitably structured porous materials and also in other units of the process via the usage of suitable heat transfer media such as gases or particles.

Proposals should demonstrate on-sun operation of a prototype plant system (including key components) in a relevant environment (typically between 50 and 300 kW) for at least 6 months operation time (net operation time; only day time operation) reaching average hydrogen production rates higher than 0.75 kg/year per m2 land area used (equivalent of 2.16 kg/day/m2 (receiver area) for a solar concentration factor of about 1,000).

Proposals should develop smart operation and control strategies as well as pathways to scale the technology to the multi-MW scale using modelling and simulation of the plant and key components.

To tackle the above, proposals should consider the following:

  • improvement of heat management via efficient heat recovery systems;
  • improvement of coupling the process to a concentrating solar energy source (“solar interface”);
  • shaping the solar field towards the needs of a chemical process;
  • wherever possible, the coupling to heat storage;
  • integration of smart control procedures as a central measure to incorporate aspects on digitalisation of the energy system;
  • explore suitable options for decreasing the production cost through hybrid renewable supply;
  • develop suitable 3-dimensional structuring of key materials, like redox materials, to achieve high production rates and high reactor efficiencies through optimal heat and mass transfer in the reactor;
  • ensure stability and performance of key components and related properties of their constituent functional materials;
  • consider the circular economy aspects such as the recycling/regeneration of the materials and low content of Critical Raw Materials;
  • optimised fluids handling, including the minimisation of inert gas consumption, the efficiency of gas separation operations, and auxiliary power needs;
  • describe and validate upscaling strategies of the process and all major components.

Proposals are encouraged to seek collaboration with the existing or upcoming projects of the European Innovation Council (EIC) Pathfinder Challenge on novel routes to green hydrogen production[1]. In particular, applicants should consider building on the breakthrough technologies and advance thermochemical processes developed in these projects.

Proposals are expected to address sustainability and circularity aspects.

Activities are expected to start at TRL 4 and achieve TRL 6 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://eic.ec.europa.eu/eic-funding-opportunities/calls-proposals/eic-pathfinder-challenge-novel-routes-green-hydrogen_en

General Conditions

  1. Admissibility conditions:described inAnnex 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 inAnnex 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 thechapter 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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