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Valorisation of by-product O2 and/or heat from electrolysis

Utilisation of the by-product oxygen as well as simplification of the balance-of-plant through integration into the downstream process can improve the economics and the total cost of ownership of the electrolyser.

This flagship topic should focus on improving efficiency of the electrolyser system as well reducing the footprint by optimising the electrolyser system-downstream process integration. Furthermore, the project should give insight into the effect of this integration on electrolyser degradation phenomena compared to a standard electrolysis system, if applicable.

Proposals should address the following:

  • Demonstrate an improved electrolyser (>15MW) with innovative balance-of-plant able to deliver hydrogen and oxygen and/or an optimised heat integration with the downstream process. The demonstration should operate for a minimum of 1 year (4,000 cumulated hours at nominal load);
  • Demonstrate the scalability to multi-MW of the solution, including optimised control strategies and the economic benefit at scale including the impact on the final cost of the product;
  • Include a plan for use of the installation after the project;
  • Quantify the impact of the system operating strategy on the durability of the electrolyser;
  • Effect of use of by-product O2 into the downstream process and/or product properties;
  • Assessment of the different industrial activities, utilities or services that could be benefited from heat integration and oxygen production, including their requirements, i.e. purity, profile etc;
  • Show complementarity with other EU funded projects such as HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-01-08 “Integration of multi-MW electrolysers in industrial applications” and HORIZON-CL4-2022-TWIN-TRANSITION-01-17 “Integration of hydrogen for replacing fossil fuels in industrial applications” or any other relevant EU funding programs.

Consortia are expected to include off-takers for the hydrogen, oxygen and/or heat and an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partner for appropriately integrating these electrolyser outputs at the site. Following the commissioning phase, electricity costs are not eligible for funding.

The project should include a clear go/no-go decision point (milestone) ahead of entering the deployment phase. Before this go/no go decision point, the project is expected to deliver the following: detailed engineering plans, a complete business and implementation plan and all the required permits for the deployment of the project. The project proposal is therefore expected to clearly demonstrate a proposed pathway to obtaining necessary permits for the demonstration actions and allow for appropriate timelines to achieve these.

Applicants are encouraged to seek synergies with existing projects of the Horizon Europe Process4Planet and Clean Steel partnerships or future topics[[In particular proposals are expected to explore synergies with topic HORIZON-CL4-2024-TWIN-TRANSITION-01-34: Renewable hydrogen used as feedstock in innovative production routes.]] concerning innovative industrial processes, that could make use of the hydrogen and oxygen and other by-products produced by the electrolyser.

Proposals are also encouraged to explore synergies with projects running under the EURAMET research programmes EMPIR[[]] and the European Partnership on Metrology (e.g Met4H2[[]]) concerning quality assurance measurements which aim at ensuring that the purity of hydrogen produced is at the expected grade.

Proposals are expected to address sustainability and circularity aspects.

Applicants should provide a funding plan to ensure implementation of the project in synergies with other sources of funding. If no other sources of funding will be required, this should be stated clearly in the proposal, with a commitment from the partners to provide own funding. If additional sources of funding will be required, proposals should present a clear plan on which funding programmes at either EU (e.g. Structural Funds, Just Transition Fund, Innovation Fund, Connecting Europe Facility,…) or national levels will be targeted[[Including applications for funding planned, applications for funding submitted and funding awarded]]. In these cases, applicants should present a credible planning that includes forecasted funding programmes and their expected time of commitment.

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.

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[[]]).

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

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 ""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 7-8 by the end of the project - see General Annex B.

The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 10.00 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.

Purchases of equipment, infrastructure or other assets used for the action must be declared as depreciation costs. However, for the following equipment, infrastructure or other assets purchased specifically for the action (or developed as part of the action tasks): electrolyser, its BoP, and any other hydrogen related equipment essential for the implementation of the project (e.g. hydrogen storage), costs may exceptionally be declared as full capitalised costs.

The conditions related to this topic are provided in the chapter of the Clean Hydrogen JU 2023 Annual Work Plan and in the General Annexes to the Horizon Europe Work Programme 2023–2024 which apply mutatis mutandis.