IPCEI Hydrogen: 169 million funding for Sunfire
Dresden, August 30, 2023
Sunfire is the only German producer of large-scale electrolyzers to receive support for scaling up its technologies as part of the “Important Projects of Common European Interest” (IPCEI). Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck and Saxony's Minister for Economic Affairs Martin Dulig personally handed over the 169-million-euro grant notification.
Sunfire is using the grant money to establish the first industrial series production of its electrolysis technologies. “Thanks to the grant, we can proceed faster and much more extensively than we would be able to with our own financial resources,” explains Sunfire CEO Nils Aldag, adding, “IPCEI is our catalyst on the way to gigawatt production – and that's why today is a great day for us.”
One of the greatest opportunities of the century for Germany as a business location
Electrolyzers are needed in the industry for the production of green hydrogen. Sunfire is therefore investing around 400 million euros in setting up industrial series production of its technologies and validating them in Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. Through the EU's IPCEI initiative, the electrolysis provider will receive a total of 169 million euros (162 million euros for setting up series production in Saxony; 7 million euros for North Rhine-Westphalia).
IPCEI projects are ones of outstanding European interest that make an important contribution to growth, employment and competitiveness of the European economy by means of government funding. The federal government provides 70 percent of the funding, while 30 percent comes from the respective German states.
Nils Aldag says: “We will repay the trust that policymakers have placed in us with this extensive funding. We are investing in technologies that will advance the transformation of our industry and thus make an important contribution to climate neutrality. At the same time, the electrolysis industry offers Germany as a business location one of the greatest opportunities of the century. In Dresden, we are building one of the leading companies in this sector and creating sustainable added value and jobs.”
Series production expanded at record pace
In the summer of 2022, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) granted Sunfire an early start of action. In order not to lose any time, the Dresden-based company then made investments at its own risk – primarily in the area of pressurized alkaline technology, which is already being installed for customers such as RWE and Uniper. While Sunfire celebrated the start of series production of this technology as early as March 2023, the next step is picking up speed in terms of industrial production of the innovative high-temperature electrolyzers (SOEC), which achieve particularly high efficiencies.
Important signal for the entire industry
It was a sensation when the European Commission announced at the end of 2020 that it would massively accelerate the ramp-up of the green hydrogen market via IPCEI. Europe committed itself to green hydrogen as a key element of the energy transition. The fact that the first grant notifications are now being issued is an important signal for the entire industry.
Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action:
“In the coming years we want to build up a high-performance hydrogen infrastructure. Sufficient electrolyzers that can be used to produce the energy carrier in a climate-friendly way are a basic prerequisite for this. To achieve the ambitious goals of the National Hydrogen Strategy, we need industrial and automated production capacities for electrolyzers. At the same time, we want to consolidate and expand the technological leadership of German companies in the production of electrolyzers. I am therefore delighted to hand over the grant to Sunfire for the construction of a production facility for electrolyzers. At the same time, it is an important signal for Saxony as a business location, where future-proof jobs are being created and the foundations are being laid for a successful, robust hydrogen economy in Germany.”
Martin Dulig, Saxon State Minister for Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport:
“For the ecological transformation of our industry, we need hydrogen as a new energy carrier. Saxony recognized this earlier than others and has joined forces. It is standing alongside the federal government in this matter and contributing to its innovative strength. We need imports just as much as we need local production. Highly efficient electrolyzers, produced on an industrial scale and thus cost-effective, are the basic prerequisite for a reliable supply of hydrogen to industry. This is what Sunfire from Saxony stands for. I have been following and supporting the development of the Dresden-based company for years out of the conviction that this technology will be the future. With today's funding check, the company can start implementation with full steam. The hydrogen age continues to gather pace all the way from Saxony!”