Developing hydrogen valleys to foster economic growth in the European regions

The development of hydrogen valleys can foster economic growth in the European regions while answering to the local energy needs and reducing pollution.

The event will discuss the elements needed to develop and implement an integrated approach for the ramp up of hydrogen in different European regions (“the hydrogen valleys”). It will look among others at policy, finance / investments, business models, local (regional) contexts and technology.

The sector’s evolution and the development of the valleys depends largely on one hand on the regional policies and national policies and on the other hand on the commitment of the industry; we need strategies that create progress and we need to sustain them with concrete initiatives and investments.

The overall goal is to make the energy transition a success, thanks to a local production approach and a wide range of uses anchored in the territories’ reality.

A small, self-contained hydrogen economy – what some prefer to call a hydrogen territory or valley – is already under development, in the Orkney Islands of Scotland through an FCH JU funded project called BIG HIT , which demonstrates the viability and feasibility of hydrogen economy concept in off-grid areas. Other regions in Europe are sharing the idea, albeit using different approaches.

Among these: Germany ( with a central “hyland “ concept but also a strong regional approach which covers aspects from mobility to the decarbonisation of the industry) ; France, where a first “Zero – emissions valley” is being developed in the region of Chambéry et Aix-les-Bains and Northern Netherlands, with an integrated approach to the decarbonisation of the region with the help of hydrogen.

Locally produced (decentralized), hydrogen is a driver of innovation and economic performance: allowing for the decarbonisation of the gas and electricity networks while providing energy safety, and independence, clean mobility and stimulating job creation. All this contribute to improving the quality of life in the respective region.

The event targets authorities and policy makers at local, national and European levels as well as relevant stakeholders from the industry and research areas. This will reflect in a wide range of positions and visions, which bring added-value to the session. Speakers are representatives of local and national Authorities, policy-makers from the European Commission, representatives of relevant companies and projects.

Regions and cities can benefit from investing in hydrogen and fuel cells not only in environmental terms, but also by stimulating local economic growth and creating attractive places to live, work and visit.

Investing in fuel cell and hydrogen technology pays off for cities and regions, as it provides a mature, safe and competitive zero-emission solution for all their energy needs. FCH technology is the only option available today to store renewable energy on a large scale and use it for all energy needs – from transport to building heat and power to industry, thus enabling sector coupling. It also provides a green solution for energy uses that are otherwise hard to electrify.


Mirela Atanasiu, FCH JU
Head of Unit Operations & Communication
Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU)
Bart Biebuyck, FCH JU
Executive Director
Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU)
Luuk Buit, Province of Groningen
Project Manager
Province of Groningen
Policy officer for Energy, Transports & Rdv Eco
Delegation of the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Region in Brussels
Helene Chraye, DG RTD
Head of Unit Clean Energy Transition
Directorate-General Research and Innovation (DG RTD)
Divisional Head Transport and Infrastructure
NOW GmbH - Nationale Organisation Wasserstoff- und Brennstoffzellentechnologie
Nigel Holmes, SHFCA
Chief Executive Officer
Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association
Dr. Manuel C. Schaloske, e-mobil BW
Director of Energy and Cluster Fuel Cell BW
e-mobil BW