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04 Mar 2024

Austria announces decision to support renewable hydrogen production with 400m euros

Austria announces decision to support renewable hydrogen production with 400m euros

It was recently announced that Austria has decided to support domestic renewable hydrogen producers with a 400m euro subsidy package and this decision has already been supported by the European Hydrogen Bank (EHB).

This decision has been reflected in a draft law that is to be known as the Hydrogen Promotion Act and it was stated as under review by the Ministry of Climate Protection (BMK) on Monday 26th of February 2024. This review is necessary for the act to be processed and put through as national funding. So far, following this announcement, BMK and the Ministry of Finance (BMF) have said that they are intending to begin a renewable hydrogen auction round under the EHB’s Auction-as-a-Service (AaaS) scheme. This will be done in order to create a fixed premium per kilogram of hydrogen subsidise production.

If this scheme for national hydrogen funding is successful, it will enable Austria to finance projects which have not been selected by the EU-wide Innovation Fund-backed EHB auction. This auction closed in February of 2024, so therefore if the projects are not selected, they may still be able to go ahead.

This ability would be an excellent advantage for Austria, who is currently aiming to establish 1GW of electrolysis capacity by 2030. The overall goal with this aim is to try and replace a lot of the hydrogen which has been generated from fossil fuels.

The European Commission had said that ‘national AaaS applicants would have to comply with the same criteria set out by the bloc-wide auctions by meeting renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO) requirements and come into operation and demonstrate at least 100% of their nameplate capacity within five years of signing funding contracts.’

BMK Minister, Leonore Gewessler, spoke about the way ‘clean hydrogen plays an “important role” in Austria’s climate and energy goals.’ He continued, saying it is “important to invest with foresight now” with the idea of this investment being to make sure that Austria remains both relevant and competitive to sectors that require hydrogen.

Gewessler mentioned, “I am pleased to secure €400m for the development of renewable hydrogen production projects.”

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