HyAccelerator: Snam launches its programme for hydrogen start-ups

  Fuels, NEWS & INTERVIEWS, Sustainable Mobility, Technical innovation

The Italian company is the first to begin a global initiative to accelerate development of the supply chain: the start-up companies selected will receive support for research and conducting feasibility studies

Snam has launched the first global start-up acceleration programme focusing on hydrogen managed at company level. The HyAccelerator project published its first call on 11 October to players operating along the entire hydrogen value chain, from transport to storage and final applications.

The goal is to provide further impetus towards the development of the hydrogen ecosystem and facilitate its market launch thanks also to the application of highly promising technologies. This initiative “will help Snam come into contact with the most innovative start-ups in the sector on a global scale, strengthen its own role as an enabler in the hydrogen. supply chain and for the energy transition process,” explained Cosma Panzacchi, the company’s executive vice president for hydrogen.

The selected start-ups will take an acceleration path lasting about five months and will receive support for research and development, as well as mentorship, networking and technology testing sessions. These activities will also be able to benefit from the Hydrogen Innovation Centre inaugurated by Snam in collaboration with Universities and other research centres. At the end of the programme, the start-ups will team up with the company to carry out feasibility studies for future pilot projects focusing on hydrogen. Snam thereby aims to make its own contribution to the decarbonisation efforts of the economic system in line with national and international climate objectives but above all to support technologies offering the best potential for accelerating developments in the hydrogen field.

Hydrogen element can also be produced by means of water electrolysis. Passing electrical current through water (H2O) breaks down its molecular structure into oxygen and hydrogen in gaseous states. This means that no carbon dioxide is released by the production process. However, if the electricity used is generated by the combustion of fossil sources, then the supply chain is not zero-emission. Only if the carbon dioxide resulting from electricity generation is captured and stored or if the electricity used is produced from renewable sources such as like wind or solar power, will overall emissions drop to zero. In the latter case, the term “green hydrogen” is used. Depending on environmental impact, price also varies.

Throughout Europe, so-called “Hydrogen Valleys” are being set up, with projects to create hydrogen supply chains that combine production, infrastructure and application in a single region. The Old Continent already has about twenty Hydrogen Valleys projects, which could well become stepping stones towards a hydrogen economy on a European scale. These projects need time to be developed fully but could well benefit from acceleration thanks to European funds, starting with Next Generation EU. The Italian government also views hydrogen as playing an important role in its ecological transition plans and is implementing its own National Hydrogen Strategy, presented by the Ministry for Sustainable Development. By 2050, 20% of energy is expected to come from hydrogen.