Guest article by Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe
In January 2020, Hydrogen Europe’s Executive Board published a visionary paper outlining the path to ramp up a hydrogen economy with twice 40 GW of electrolysis capacity in Europe and the neighbourhood. At that time, it was not yet foreseeable what a ground-breaking character this position paper would have. Because only a few weeks later, a worldwide pandemic broke out that was to have a massive impact on the global economy and politics. Especially in the area of energy demand, a considerable decline was recorded, there were massive drops in the sectors of coal, crude oil and also natural gas. The only sector that developed positively – albeit at a low level – was the renewable energy sector. At that time, it was hardly possible to estimate how much the pandemic would affect further economic development. The crisis that has now occurred had the potential to unhinge the ambitious European Green Deal, the European response to climate change and the challenge of the Paris climate targets.