After a long wait, the European Commission has approved the first projects of IPCEI Hydrogen. With these Important Projects of Common European Interest, significant progress towards the establishment of a hydrogen economy is to be made. The associated special approval under EU state aid law means that much more funding can be allocated than would otherwise be permitted within Europe. Among the initial are four projects from Germany. More are to follow in the course of the year.
During European Hydrogen Week, beginning of December 2021 in Brussels, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, reaffirmed the role of Europe as leading in the expansion towards greater production of clean hydrogen. She explained to the nearly 2,000 registered participants, “This is without doubt a global undertaking, but I want Europe to lead the race.”
Although the European Commission funded many hydrogen and fuel cell projects in the last several years, the industry sector was rarely mentioned in Brussels. That changed in 2019, when high-ranking German politicians started taking a second look at the technology.
Nearly 120 attendees met for the annual power-to-gas strategy conference on June 20 in Berlin, where the German Energy Agency, dena, previewed a new road map to call for greater openness to new technologies and the improvement of energy storage policies. Another important agenda item was the introduction of hydrogen and synthetic methane to the fuel and heat market.