On June 8, the EU followed Germany’s example by announcing a hydrogen strategy. The European Commission even published two road maps, one for energy systems integration and another for clean hydrogen as part of the NextGenerationEU stimulus package and the European Green Deal.
Aiming to help the economy recover after the Covid-19 lockdowns, both programs have certainly more than enough funds available.
The first strategy lays out a plan for how energy systems can work more efficiently on their own and with each other, stating that an integrated, demand-responsive system will be more effective and less costly to society. It also envisions a future in which vehicles run on power generated by solar panels. These panels will be sitting on the roof of buildings heated by waste energy, energy supplied by nearby industrial facilities that use renewable hydrogen produced by offshore wind farms.
Much will depend on consumers‘ growing direct use of electricity, made possible by an expansion of green power production in multiple areas, be it for residential heat pumps, electric vehicles or industrial ovens. Industries that are hard to decarbonize are to use more clean fuels, such as renewable hydrogen or biofuels. The commission set out 38 measures detailing how to achieve a green market. They include revised regulations, financial support, research ideas, software tools, guidelines, changes to taxation, and consumer leaflets.
“The strategies adopted today will bolster the European Green Deal and a green recovery and put us firmly on the path to a decarbonized energy system by 2050. A hydrogen economy can bring about the growth needed to help ease the economic pain caused by Covid-19.”
Frans Timmermans, executive vice president for the Green Deal
“The energy sector produces 75 percent of all GHG emissions across the EU so we need a paradigm shift to reach our 2030 and 2050 targets. […] Hydrogen will play a key role in this, as falling clean energy prices and continuous innovation will turn the gas into a viable solution for a climate-neutral economy.”
Kadri Simson, EU energy commissioner
read more in H2-international October 2020