Country: Italy

Document type: Preliminary Guidelines

Title: National Hydrogen Strategy Preliminary Guidelines (Italian language)

Released: November 2020

Summary Points:

  • In preparation for release of a National Hydrogen Strategy in the first part of 2021, the Italian Government released preliminary guidelines in late 2020 for consultation.
  • 2030 Targets included in the preliminary guidelines include:
    • 5 GW of installed electrolyser capacity
    • Hydrogen to account for 2% of final energy demand (and up to 20% by 2050)
  • According to the preliminary guidelines, investment in hydrogen over 2020-2030 could be around €10 billion (with media reports indicating half of the amount would come from European funds and private investments):
    • ~€5-7 billion in production assets
    • ~€2-3 billion in distribution infrastructure
    • ~€1 billion in R&D
  • It is reported that over the next decade the Italian Government foresees the application of hydrogen in the transport sector, with 4,000 long-haul trucks and the gradual replacement of diesel-fuelled trains (which presently account for one-third of Italy’s fleet). It also foresees hydrogen used in industry and injected into the gas network.

Also in November 2020, the Italian Association of Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (H2IT – which includes industry, research and university bodies involved in the hydrogen industry) released its report Priorities for the development of a hydrogen value chain in Italy. Seven main points were noted, including development of a clear legislative and technical framework, a certification scheme for renewable and low-carbon hydrogen based on Guarantee of Origin, development of a refuelling infrastructure for mobility, supporting research and development, and fostering collaboration between ‘hydrogen valley’ projects.

In April 2023, the EC approved, under the State aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework (adopted by the Commission on 9 March 2023 to support measures in sectors which are key to accelerate the green transition and reduce fuel dependencies) a €450 million Italian scheme to support investments in the integrated production of renewable hydrogen and renewable electricity in brownfield industrial areas to foster the transition to a net-zero economy. The public support would take the form of direct grants covering investment costs, with a maximum amount of aid per project of €20 million. Aid is to be provided by 31 December 2025.

In April 2023, media reporting noted that the Italian Government had allocated €300 million (sourced from the post-pandemic National Recovery and Resilience Plan) for a programme to replace diesel trains with hydrogen trains in six regions across the country, with €24 million allocated for new rolling stock and €276 million for the production, storage and supply of renewable hydrogen.

In October 2023, the EC approved, under the State Aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, a €100 million Italian scheme to support the production of electrolysers to foster a transition to a net-zero economy, in line with the Green Deal Industrial Plan. The aid will take the form of direct grants, with the main purpose being to build up the capacities for the production of strategic equipment necessary for the diversification of energy sources.

In January 2024, the EC approved, under the State Aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, a €550 million Italian scheme to support investments enabling the substitution of methane and other fossil fuels with renewable hydrogen, which can be combined with electrification or significant energy efficiency improvements in industrial processes. The aid will take the form of direct grants.

In March 2024, the EC approved, under the State aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, a €1.1 billion Italian scheme to support investments for the production of equipment necessary to foster the transition towards a net-zero economy, including being open to companies producing electrolysers (amongst a range of other net-zero supporting technologies).

In May 2024, Germany, Italy and Austria signed a Declaration of Intent for the development of the SoutH2 Corridor. The SoutH2 Corridor is to facilitate hydrogen imports from North Africa through southern Italy and is then to be connected to hydrogen demand clusters in Italy, Austria and Germany. The Declaration announcement notes that the SoutH2 Corridor is one of the five large-scale pipelines for hydrogen imports that will facilitate the European import of renewable hydrogen by 2030. (Note: The SoutH2 Corridor has been chosen as a Project of Common Interest.)


Updated: May 2024