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Today, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action approved €900 million for the innovative funding instrument H2Global. The project aims to accelerate the international market ramp-up for green hydrogen, making use of a "double auction mechanism". This means that hydrogen or its derivatives are purchased at a low price on the world market and resold in the EU to the highest bidder.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Dr Robert Habeck said: "Green hydrogen plays a key role for the transformation of our economy. In future, we will need large amounts of green hydrogen, including imports in addition to hydrogen being produced in Germany. For this reason, we are now launching the international market ramp-up of the hydrogen economy and establishing lasting value and supply chains through the H2Global instrument."

A "double auction mechanism" is at the core of H2Global. Making use of a competitive procedure, hydrogen or hydrogen derivatives are purchased in non-EU countries at the lowest possible price on the basis of 10-year contracts. These contracts are managed by the intermediary HINT.CO (Hydrogen Intermediary Company). HINT.CO is a subsidiary of the H2Global Foundation, which has been set up by the private sector. Products will be sold at the highest possible price via the intermediary in the context of short-term auctions to German and European companies, which can thus speed up their decarbonisation.

In the current market ramp-up phase, the production price of green hydrogen is still relatively high so that HINT.CO is expected to spend more money for purchases than it can earn through sales. The resulting losses will be compensated for by federal funding for a maximum of 10 years. Losses will become lower over time as the willingness to pay higher prices for sustainable energy is likely to increase.

Following the approval of the funding instrument under State aid rules by the European Commission on 20 December 2021, some first purchase contracts in the context of H2Global are to be concluded in 2022. Deliveries of sustainable hydrogen-based fuels to Germany and Europe are expected to take place from 2024.