EU Commission charts path towards 100% renewable hydrogen

(EurActiv, 8 Jul 2020) The European Commission unveiled plans on Wednesday (8 July) to promote hydrogen based entirely on renewable electricity like wind and solar, but said low-carbon hydrogen derived from fossil fuels will also be supported in order to scale up production in the short term

Hydrogen is seen as a potential silver bullet to decarbonise hard-to-abate industrial sectors like steel and chemicals, which currently rely on fossil fuels and cannot easily switch to electricity. It is also seen as a long-term solution for shipping, aviation and heavy-duty road transport where electrification is not feasible at the moment.

“Hydrogen is a vital missing piece of the puzzle to help us reach this deeper decarbonisation,” said Kadri Simson, the EU’s energy commissioner who presented the strategy on Wednesday (8 July).

By 2050, the EU executive estimates that clean hydrogen could meet 24% of the world’s energy demand, with annual sales in the range of €630 billion. For Europe, that could translate into 1 million jobs in the hydrogen value chain.

But getting there will take time. Today, 96% of hydrogen today comes from fossil fuels, the Commission points out, saying: “The priority is to develop renewable hydrogen, produced using mainly wind and solar energy”.

That will require further cost reductions in technologies such as electrolysers, which aren’t expected to be fully mature until 2030 at the earliest, the Commission said in a statement.

External link

EurActiv, : EU Commission charts path towards 100% renewable hydrogen