EU bets on blue hydrogen ‘to break chicken-and-egg problem’

(EurActiv, 9 Dec 2020) The European Commission has a clear long-term objective of supporting green hydrogen produced 100% from renewables, but the EU will also rely on fossil-based hydrogen with carbon storage as a stepping stone in order to grow the market in the early stages, a senior EU official has said.

Future EU funding for gas infrastructure – including hydrogen storage and pipelines – will be clarified in an upcoming EU regulation on trans-European energy networks, which the European Commission is expected to publish on 15 December.

And with EU funding at stake, pressure is building on the EU executive to provide support for infrastructure that will accelerate the transition to clean energy.

“For gas pipelines, we will need to design them – with help of EU money – to be ready to transport also hydrogen and be ready for the future,” said Cristian Bușoi, a Romanian lawmaker who chairs the European Parliament’s industry committee.

Over the years, the TEN-E regulation has evolved from a scheme that supports all energy infrastructure – including fossil fuels – to one that supports mostly electricity and gas networks, said Diederik Samson, the chief of staff of European Commission vice president Frans Timmermans.

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EurActiv, 9 Dec 2020: EU bets on blue hydrogen ‘to break chicken-and-egg problem’