On 28 September 2023, the European Commission organised a half day workshop with the newly created European Hydrogen Bank, the European Investment Bank and H2Global Foundation to outline their intentions on Hydrogen Import Auctions into the European Union. The European Commission wants to hold this import auction in the first half of 2024 and wanted to obtain the view of the private sector in the Workshop. It should be stressed that the hydrogen import auction is in addition to the EU’s first auction at the end of November 2023 which will auction hydrogen produced in the European Union.

The Opening Address was given by Kadri Simson, the Energy Commissioner, who renewed the EU’s commitment to import 10 million tonnes of hydrogen by 2030. The Commission had organised a meeting with Member States earlier in the week. The import auctions cannot be covered by the EU Budget and will have to been funded by Member State contributions. Simson suggested that a Team Europe approach should be developed.

This will allow the pooling of Member States’ resources to organise joint European auctions, but it will also be flexible enough to accommodate any specific requests from Member States.

The Commissioner listed the advantages of this approach:
• The creation of a joint budget will increase scale and attract larger projects that serve our industrial players.
• It will create a common platform to attract international producers of renewable hydrogen to the European market and give more clarity to international producers.
•It will also offer more clarity to third country producers through common auction criteria, common timelines, and it also offers a bigger market.
•It will be more efficient for Member States by creating a single platform allowing to compare and evaluate different bids.

•It will support internal coordination for creating the hydrogen corridors needed to bring hydrogen to our end-consumers

There are still many details about the auction to be agreed and the Commission will organise a webinar on the issue during October. H2Global Foundation will play a key role in the auction working closely with the European Hydrogen Bank. The initiative will be an important step in the creation of a European hydrogen market.