About PDA-Regions and FCH JU



Moving towards a zero carbon economy has become an increasingly vital issue for policymakers, local governments, and private industry over recent years. Low carbon technologies have the potential to both tackle air pollution on a local level, as well as contribute towards international efforts towards preventing climate change. One route to this has been identified as the use of hydrogen as an energy vector. Zero emission hydrogen can be made using electrolysis with low carbon electricity, or reformation of natural gas with carbon capture. This hydrogen can then be stored, transported, and used in applications such as heating or transport.

Early success in deploying hydrogen technologies in Europe has been driven on a regional and city-wide level, the scale of which is compatible with the early and ambitious deployment of the technology. Local governments, acting in conjunction with industrial partners, have been able to secure significant investment in fuel cell and hydrogen (FCH) projects, and deploy technology faster than would be possible on a national scale, or for a private company to do alone.

This project is funded by the FCH 2 JU, a unique public private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. Its aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies, realising their potential as an instrument in achieving a carbon-lean energy system.

In 2017 the FCH 2 JU initiated the FCH regions initiative, which saw over 90 cities and regions committing to develop hydrogen projects. Over the next 5 years, the total level of investment in local or regional fuel cell and hydrogen projects is expected to total €1.8 billion. According to a study of on the development of business cases for a wide of FCH applications in regions and cities, a number of public authorities express significant interest in further developing local or regional roadmaps. Following on from this, the FCH 2 JU has launched the Project Development Assistance (PDA) for regions and cities project, to support detailed project planning and development, so that project concepts could move forward to implementation. It will select 10 regional or city wide FCH projects to be given assistance to develop detailed work plans for their projects, and facilitate the exchange of lessons learnt between observer regions.

Project Timeline

The EOI call opening on 16th January 2020 will run for 8 weeks until 12th March 2020. Following this, there will be a period of 6 weeks during which the project partners in conjunction with the FCH 2 JU will review the applications and select a portfolio of the 10 proposals. The selection of these proposals will be based on which ideas PDA can help to ensure are implemented, and which will advance the deployment of FCH technology in Europe. The ten successful applicants will be expected to send representatives to a meeting with the project partners and other selected projects in April 2020 at the FCH JU offices in Brussels.

Following the kick-off meeting, assistance will take place over the course of 12 months. Implementation of the projects is expected to commence no more than 12 months following the completion of PDA. The various communication activities between the partners, FCH 2 JU, selected regions and observer parties will continue throughout the PDA period and after its completion. Selected regions will be expected to provide regular updates to the FCH 2 JU after the PDA period is complete.

Further Information

Prior to the inception of the PDA initiative, the FCH 2 JU undertook a study on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen for Green Energy in European Cities and Regions. The final report for this study can be found here