Skip to main content
Climate Action

Competitive bidding

A new tool for funding innovative low-carbon technologies under the Innovation Fund

European Hydrogen Bank pilot auction results

The first EU-wide auction (IF23 Auction) for the production of RFNBO (renewable fuel of non-biological origin) hydrogen was launched on 23 November 2023 and closed on 8 February 2024. The auction attracted 132 projects bids from 17 European countries.  

You can find the recording of the most recent public webinar on the European Hydrogen Bank.

After evaluation, seven renewable hydrogen projects were selected and will receive nearly €720 million in project support from the Innovation Fund. Altogether, the selected projects will cover 1.5 Gigawatts electric (GWe) of electrolyser capacity, and produce a total volume of 1.58 million tonnes of RFNBO hydrogen over ten years. 

The renewable hydrogen produced by the selected projects will be used in sectors such as steel, chemicals, maritime transport, fertiliser production and more. Moreover, these projects will employ alkaline, proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysers, or a combination of both. 

Out of 132 bids, 119 proposals were considered eligible and admissible. After being evaluated by the implementing body of the Innovation Fund, the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), the projects were ranked from lowest to highest bid and awarded support in that order.  

The submitted bids ranged from €0.37 to the ceiling price of €4.5 per kilogram of hydrogen produced. 

The seven selected projects submitted bids between €0.37 and €0.48 per kilogram of RFNBO hydrogen produced and, based on the pay-as-bid design of the pilot auction, will receive an Innovation Fund grant ranging between €8 million and €245 million.  

The following selected projects will produce renewable, electrolytic hydrogen:  

Project Coordinator Country Bid volume 
(kt_H₂ / 10 yrs)
Bid capacity
(MWe - megawatts electricity)
Expected GHG avoidance
(kt_CO₂ / 10 yrs)  
Bid price
eNRG Lahti   Nordic Ren-Gas Oy  Finland 122 90 836 0.37
El Alamillo H₂   Benbros Energy S.L. Spain 65 60 443 0.38
Grey2Green-II Petrogal S.A.   Portugal 216 200 1477 0.39
HYSENCIA   Angus   Spain 17 35 115 0.48
SKIGA   Skiga  Norway 169 117 1159 0.48
Catalina  Renato Ptx Holdco  Spain 480 500 3284 0.48
MP2X   Madoquapower 2x  Portugal 511 500 3494 0.48

After signing the grant agreement, the selected projects will have to start producing renewable hydrogen within a five-year period. Furthermore, selected projects will only be awarded their fixed premium subsidy for up to 10 years upon certification and verification of renewable hydrogen production. 

Individual grant agreements are expected to be signed by November 2024, at the latest.  

Check our slides below to learn more about the auction results beyond the selected projects.

By helping Europe decarbonise its industry and transition away from fossil fuels, hydrogen will play a crucial role in achieving the EU’s climate neutrality goals. In relation to this, the IF23 Auction for renewable hydrogen is a key element of the European Hydrogen Bank (EHB), which establishes a financing and coordination platform to secure cost-efficient and renewable hydrogen throughout the EU.  

To learn more about the European Hydrogen Bank, watch the recording of our most recent public webinar on the topic.  

For further information on the results of the IF23 Auction, please consult our dedicated FAQs.


The Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for the deployment and commercialisation of low-carbon and innovative technologies. Currently, the Innovation Fund awards  support for projects in the form of regular grants for proposals, auctions, project development assistance and financial instruments such as Invest EU.

In addition to the existing grants programme, the European Commission has developed a new support mechanism of competitive bidding (‘auctions’). Auctions expand the portfolio of support mechanisms available under the Innovation Fund, fostering faster and more cost-efficient support for the roll-out of low-carbon technologies needed for the green transition.

As part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package, the Commission proposed to set up a competitive bidding instrument in the proposal to revise the EU ETS directive, along with several other proposals to make the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net GHG emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

Competitive bidding was also highlighted as a support mechanism for hydrogen production and uptake in the REPowerEU Plan, specifically as a central measure to reduce fossil-fuel consumption in hard-to-decarbonise industrial sectors and diversify energy imports away from Russian fossil fuels.

Further, the revised EU ETS Directive introduced competitive bidding procedures as a new possible mechanism for allocating support provided by the Innovation Fund.

The Innovation Fund pilot auction for hydrogen production is a key element of the European Hydrogen Bank (EHB), which establishes EU financing instruments and a coordination platform to cost-effectively secure domestic and international renewable hydrogen volumes in the EU.

Auctions operationalise the domestic pillar of the EHB, as detailed in the figure below:

European Hydrogen Bank

Why hydrogen? The goal of the Innovation Fund is to support the demonstration and commercialisation of innovative low-carbon technologies and processes. While many decarbonisation technologies are already mature, climate-neutral options are not yet available or scalable for hard-to-decarbonise sectors of the EU economy, such as heavy-duty transport and energy-intensive industrial processes. Hydrogen produced using renewable electricity, ‘RFNBO hydrogen’, is a climate-neutral option for these sectors and fully aligned with the REPowerEU Plan political priorities. The Commission has defined RFNBO hydrogen by adopting two Delegated Acts as required under the Renewable Energy Directive. The first Delegated Act defines under which conditions hydrogen, hydrogen-based fuels or other energy carriers can be considered RFNBOs. The second Delegated Act provides a methodology for calculating life-cycle GHG emissions for RFNBOs. Compliance with the two Acts is also necessary for hydrogen production to be counted towards Member States’ renewable energy targets.

2024 Auction for renewable hydrogen production – Draft Terms and Conditions (T&Cs)

The first auction under the Innovation Fund (IF23 Auction), which supports producers of hydrogen categorised as Renewable Fuel of Non-Biological Origin (RFNBO) with a budget of €800 million, closed on 8 February 2024. The call attracted 132 proposals from 17 European countries. The results of the IF23 Auction are highlighted in our press release on the topic. 

Following the success of the first auction, the Innovation Fund will be launching a second auction before the end of 2024. As part of a “lessons learned” exercise, draft Terms & Conditions (T&Cs) for the IF24 Auction were published with the purpose of gathering structured feedback from the main stakeholders involved. 

On 12 June 2024,  the Directorate General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA) held a stakeholder consultation to discuss the draft T&C’s for the IF24 Auction. This was based on key learnings from the IF23 Auction and the stakeholder feedback gathered through a dedicated survey. 

Please find all relevant material from this stakeholder consultation on our dedicated event page

Innovation Fund Identity
Background document25 April 2024
Draft Terms and Conditions for the 2024 Innovation Fund Auction

The draft Terms and Conditions for the 2024 Innovation Fund Auction for the production of renewable (RFNBO) hydrogen

The draft T&Cs incorporate improvements and clarifications based on key learnings from the IF23 Auction and feedback received from bidders through a dedicated survey. The following key design elements are proposed for revision:

  • Reduction of the auction ceiling price from 4.5 to 3.5 EUR/kg.
  • Reduction of the maximum “Entry into Operation” time from 5 to 3 years.
  • Increase the requested amount of the completion guarantee, from 4% to 10% of the requested grant amount.
  • Inclusion of a dedicated budget basket for projects with off-takers in the maritime sector, in accordance with the 2023 ETS Directive revision.
  • Request of more detailed information, particularly on the electrolyser’s origin and value chain, as part of the electrolyser procurement strategy. This additional information would support decision-making related to the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA).

Through the 2024 Auction, the Innovation Fund will continue to support RFNBO hydrogen producers located in the EEA. This will be done in the form of a fixed premium payment released upon verified and certified production for a maximum period of 10 years.

The AaaS scheme will once again be offered to Member States as an option to allocate additional national funds to support projects. This service reduces the risk of market fragmentation by streamlining funding applications across the EEA and alleviating the administrative burden for Member states by allowing them to rely on an EU-wide auction mechanism to identify the most competitive projects.

2023 Auction for renewable hydrogen production

The first competitive bidding mechanism under the Innovation Fund was implemented through a pilot auction to support renewable hydrogen production. The pilot auction, which opened on 23 November 2023 and closed on 8 February 2024, received 132 bids from 17 European countries.

These were the objectives of the 2023 pilot auction:

Objectives of the Innovation Fund pilot auction


An €800 million budget from the Innovation Fund was available for bidders (project developers). Funding will be awarded as a fixed premium in €/kg of verified and certified RFNBO hydrogen produced, on top of market revenues that developers can expect to achieve. Funding will be guaranteed for up to ten years of operation. Awarded projects have entered into a grant agreement with the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), the implementing authority for the scheme.

Learn more about the 2023 pilot auction by consulting the related Terms and Conditions, which were published on 30 August 2023.

Innovation Fund auction process step-by-step
Innovation Fund auction process step-by-step

Auctions as a Service (AaaS)

To avoid fragmentation at the early stage of hydrogen market formation in Europe and to save administrative costs of developing different hydrogen support schemes by the EEA, the Commission extends the Innovation Fund pilot auctions as a platform to interested countries of the EEA. This mechanism, called Auctions-as-a-Service (AaaS), enables countries of the EEA to use their national budget resources to award support to projects located on their territory while relying on the EU-wide auction mechanism to identify the most competitive projects.

To participate in AaaS, interested countries must have a national budget allocated and follow the State aid notification process before the opening of the Innovation Fund auction. The Commission will assist countries with pre-filled notification templates reflecting the auction T&C.

In practice, the concept of AaaS consists of:

  • EEA countries using the State Aid compliant, EU-wide Innovation Fund pilot auction as an auction mechanism.
  • the Commission facilitating the notification of national schemes.
  • CINEA informing countries about the results of the pilot auction with a ranking of potential vetted and cost-competitive projects to be implemented in participating countries (upon agreement of the projects).
  • the Commission providing guidance for minimum requirements for contracts to be signed at the national level between project developers and national authorities.

The AaaS will work accordingly:

  • EEA countries commit national budget to the AaaS and communicate their intention to participate to the Commission.
  • CINEA opens the auction.
  • Projects across EEA submit bids, which will be assessed, ranked, and cleared in line with the auction T&C.
  • The lowest bids are cleared under the auction budget until it is exhausted, following the ranking of projects.
  • The ranking of the remaining unawarded projects is cleared under the national budget(s) and information about the successful bids is passed to the respective country.
  • An additional ceiling price applies to projects supported under AaaS to ensure competition in the presence of additional national funds. This additional, country-specific ceiling price will be calculated as follows:
    • [The price of the last project cleared under the Innovation Fund budget, that is not from the same country] * [a factor X]. The formula will be established at the EU level.
  • CINEA is responsible for awarding, contracting, and monitoring support for projects under the Innovation Fund budget.
  • Participating countries are responsible for awarding, contracting, and monitoring project support under national budgets.

The European Hydrogen Bank Communication, published in March of 2023, first detailed the AaaS concept. For more information, you can review our AaaS concept note.

For questions on the AaaS, please email CLIMA-AUCTIONSatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (clima-auctions[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)