Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Hydrogen carriers for stationary storage of excess renewable energy

Topic identifier: FCH-02-5-2018
Publication date: 16 January 2018

Types of action: FCH2-RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
16 January 2018
Deadline: 24 April 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-JTI-FCH-2018
Work Programme Part: H2020-JTI-FCH-2018
Topic Updates
  • 20 August 2018 17:58

    An overview of the evaluation results (flash call info) is now available under the "Additional Documents" section of each topic page.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Hydrogen storage and delivery are essential components of future fuel cells and hydrogen-based technologies. Depending on applications, different sizes of storage of hydrogen close to the final use may be necessary, e.g. industrial scale storage is required to deal with imbalances between supply and use of hydrogen, those caused by fluctuations in availability of renewable electricity.
Storage and handling of hydrogen in gas phase often needs significant amount of energy for hydrogen compression up to at least 350 bar. This process is usually performed with mechanical instruments (i.e. compressors, pumps), with low efficiency and heat losses. Therefore, the use of low-pressure (i.e. lower than 50 bar) alternatives based on hydrogen carriers could decrease CAPEX and OPEX of hydrogen storage significantly.
The basic aspects of hydrogen carrier technologies are well established, but the demonstration to efficiently store and/or deliver hydrogen is still in an early stage of industrial development and while the basic aspects of individual components of such a storage solution are well established, there has not been a lot of research that focused on a proof-of-concept that demonstrates this storage solution from end to end.
Further developments and demonstration in applications with larger market potential (like e.g. low-pressure hydrogen storage in residential applications for medium to long-term energy storage or at off grid locations) are necessary.


Novel energy efficient, compact and cost effective hydrogen carrier solutions should be developed for hydrogen storage in grid independent energy supply systems, e.g. for on-site hydrogen production from renewables connected to green hydrogen supply to FC (HT-PEFC, SOFC, etc.) to be used in stationary applications.
Safety issues for hydrogen storage and delivering should be specifically addressed. Suitable normative related to hydrogen handling using carriers should be considered. The use of non-Critical Raw Materials is highly recommended.
The projects should demonstrate a prototype of a storage system based on hydrogen carriers for an application with significant market potential, in order to move hydrogen carriers out of niche markets. The integration of the prototype system from a hydrogen production to delivering is required within the project. The results of the project will support the management of variable sources in applications at the medium – large scale, such as energy generation from power plans based on renewable sources.
Projects should achieve a break-through in increased energy efficiency and compactness of the complete system with respect to current technologies, as well as reduction of necessary hydrogen compression steps, optimizing the complete hydrogen storage and delivery chain. Depending on selected storage technology, a purification step might be included.
Project work should encompass a complete energy and cost analysis of the state-of-the-art in the specific application, including cost for hydrogen and energy supply, cost for storage including hydrogen processing as well as depreciation of system components.
The overall achieved improvements in increasing energy efficiency and safety, while reducing cost for the system itself and its maintenance should be investigated in a techno-economical evaluation of the developed system.
A LCA of the concept should be included to evaluate the potential improvement in energy efficiency and environmental performance of the complete system with respect to current technologies. The LCA should contemplate also the management of raw and waste material, as well as other recycling issues.
Based on a specific business case, the amount of H2 to be stored should be clarified and a cost analysis of the whole hydrogen storage and delivering chain should be provided.
Proposed projects should have at least one industrial partner (carrier and/or storage system production) in the consortium, to both exploit the results and prove a business case for the developed hydrogen storage solution based on the particular hydrogen carrier.
Projects within the scope of call topic FCH-02-6-2017 (Liquid organic hydrogen carrier) are not eligible for this call.
TRL at start: 3 and TRL at end: 5.
Any safety-related event that may occur during execution of the project shall be reported to the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) dedicated mailbox, which manages the European hydrogen safety reference database, HIAD.
Test activities should collaborate and use the protocols developed by the JRC Harmonisation Roadmap (see section 3.2.B "Collaboration with JRC – Rolling Plan 2018"), in order to benchmark performance of components and allow for comparison across different projects.

The FCH 2 JU considers that proposals requesting a contribution of EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Expected duration: 3 years

Expected Impact:

The expected achievement from the project is a proof of concept of a hydrogen carrier system for stationary storage, integrated with hydrogen production from renewables and use in energy supply devices (e.g. FC). This application area is expected to provide promising export markets for the European industry.
A medium-scale prototype system with developed carriers should be demonstrated by the end of the project with a capacity of ≥ 50 kg H2 and integrated with an existing application, including hydrogen storage and delivering steps. Optimized hydrogen and thermal management should be demonstrated. The system should demonstrate a safe operation and maintenance along the whole chain, including toxicity and health aspects. An added value to the proposal is the hydrogen production and use as a part of the project, however their cost is not eligible in the proposal.
The KPIs for hydrogen storage include the whole process for carriers’ hydrogenation as well as dehydrogenation. All of the following specific KPIs should be obtained and demonstrated:

  • Target of hydrogen stored capacity for in-field testing > 50 kg H2;
  • Carrier volumetric density > 0.1 kg H2/litre;
  • Discharge energy use from sources external from the prototype system < 5.0 kWh/kg H2, i.e. less than 15% of the energy content of hydrogen per kg;
  • Total round-trip energy efficiency > 70% including compression, energy supply to store and BoP, etc.;
  • Loading and unloading of hydrogen has to be demonstrated in the carrier for at least 250 cycles and in the prototype for at least 50 cycles, with acceptable loss of storage capacity less than 0.2 % per cycle;
  • Hydrogen purity at point of delivery at least 99.99 %.

Type of action: Research and Innovation Action
The conditions related to this topic are provided in the chapter 3.3 and in the General Annexes to the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018– 2020 which apply mutatis mutandis.

Topic conditions and documents

1.   Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the H2020 main Work Programme.

      A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.


2.   Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the H2020 main Work Programme.

 The following exception applies (see 'chapter 3.3. Call management rules' from the FCH2 JU 2018 Work Plan and specific topic description):

- "For all Innovation Actions, an additional eligibility criterion has been introduced to limit the FCH 2 JU requested contribution"

     Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission tool below.


3.   Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the H2020 main Work Programme.
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4.   Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreement:
      Information on the outcome of evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
      Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.


5.   Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

FCH JU Research and Innovation Action (FCH-RIA)

Specific rules and funding rates
Proposal templates are available after entering the submission tool below.
Standard evaluation form
FCH JU MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
H2020 Annotated Grant Agreement

FCH JU Innovation Action (FCH-IA)

Specific rules and funding rates
Proposal templates are available after entering the submission tool below.
Standard evaluation form
FCH JU MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
H2020 Annotated Grant Agreement

FCH JU Coordination and Support Action (FCH-CSA)

Specific rules and funding rates
Proposal templates are available after entering the submission tool below.
Standard evaluation form
FCH JU MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
H2020 Annotated Grant Agreement


6.   Additional requirements:

      Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
      Classified information
      Technology readiness levels (TRL)
      Financial support to Third Parties

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

7.   Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the H2020 main Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.

8.   Additional documents

FCH JU Work Plan
FCH2 JU Multi Annual Work Plan 
FCH2 JU – Regulation of establishment
H2020 Regulation of Establishment
H2020 Rules for Participation
H2020 Specific Programme

Additional documents

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