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ENEA: €110M plan for green hydrogen research

In the energy transition, the acronym POR (Operational Research Plan) is undoubtedly one of the most “stimulating.”

It really relates to green hydrogen, which has long been recognized as the quintessential non-polluting energy vector. This hue signifies that the universe’s most fundamental element is derived from renewable sources using specific CO2-free procedures.

The good news is that the POR is now operational with “the task of carrying out research, development and innovation activities in ‘entire value chain of the energy carrier which includes production, storage, distribution, and end uses,” thanks to ENEA and funding from the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

Cooperation between CNR and RSE

ENEA will be able to rely on a total of 110 million euros in resources to help it accomplish these goals by working with the National Research Council and the Energy Services Manager’s research firm, RSE. Specifically, 20 million will go to the CNR, 75 million will be controlled directly by the Entity, which will be in charge of executing the ROP and coordinating the operations, and the remaining 15 million will go to RSE.

Then there is yet another subdivision type to be considered. In reality, the POR categorizes these resources as follows:

40 million euros for the production of green and clean hydrogen,

30 million euros for technologies for storage, transport, and transformation into derivatives and e-fuels,

€ 30 million for fuel cells for stationary and mobile applications

€ 10 million for intelligent integrated management systems capable of improving the resilience and reliability of hydrogen-based energy infrastructures.

Remember that the 110 million euro figure is equivalent to around 70% of the money for hydrogen research designated under the PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan). A total of 160 million dollars are allotted for hydrogen research and development under Mission 2’s “Renewable energy, hydrogen, grid, and sustainable transportation” Component 2.

Giorgio Graditi, the head of the Hydrogen ROP as well as the director of the ENEA Department of Energy Technologies and Renewable Sources, emphasized how “this is an extremely important result that required the creation of a system of multi-interdisciplinary skills and experiences, laboratories, and infrastructures, with the aim of maximizing the repercussions of the planned research activities, to favor the transfer of technology to the industrial and manufacturing sect.”

Green hydrogen can reduce carbon emissions more effectively

The manager emphasized once more how “In addition to ensuring organic coordination with the goals of the Mission Innovation and Research of the Electricity System, whose 2022–2024 programming is currently under the approval and follows a public consultation, this scientific initiative will help to further strengthen cooperation with CNR and RSE. In this approach, we will be able to more effectively pursue the decarbonization targets outlined by the PNRR and the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan ”.

Further technical information about the ROP was provided by ENEA. According to the agency, “The implementation of the projects must contribute to favoring the production of hydrogen from renewable sources and from grid electricity and activities related to hydrogen, in order to meet the requirement of reducing gas emissions greenhouse in the life cycle of hydrogen and 70% for hydrogen-based synthetic fuels compared to a reference fossil fuel.”

final result by 2025

The operational research plan’s research activities will last for four years, and by the time they are finished in 2025, ENEA, CNR, and RSE will be in charge of disseminating and transferring the findings “for the benefit of the Italian industry and, in general, of the energy transition of our country.”

Clarification regarding the latter, which refers to the PNRR’s explicit provisions regarding the purpose of research on the energy sector: “To build a functioning hydrogen network to test various technologies and business models, as well as to offer engineering and research services to commercial players who require broad product validation.


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