HYGROGEN EUROPE - How to kickstart the EU hydrogen industry to achieve the EU climate goals


By Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Secretary General, Hydrogen Europe
Autumn 2019

The necessity to have a low carbon society and push for an effective and affordable energy transition has become a global priority. Europe should be at the fore front of the fight to decarbonise the energy system and, in this context, hydrogen has a key role to play due to its multi-talented characteristics: it's an energy carrier, a fuel and a raw material at the same time.

With these important targets in mind, the European Commission is working to help industry achieve the climate goals via the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) which is a specific possibility to find aid compatible with the internal market.

IPCEIs are about disruptive and ambitious research and innovation, beyond the state of the art in the sector; followed by first industrial deployment, which is in the short period where very important R&D&I are still necessary (e.g.: to scale up a pilot line); actions by beneficiaries to generate positive spill-over effects – throughout the EU – on the knowledge and results they generate in the IPCEI beyond their business as usual (quantitatively and qualitatively).

Hydrogen has been selected as a strategic value chain and, therefore, one or even several IPCEIs on hydrogen are being prepared. This includes a significant number of projects in all the areas important for the sector such as:

  • generation of green hydrogen from renewable energy sources;
  • transportation of hydrogen e.g. via dedicated pipelines;
  • zero-emission mobility;
  • industry applications e.g. based on hydrogen as a decarbonised chemical feedstock;
  • energy applications e.g. large scale and seasonal storage of renewable energy;
  • housing sector e.g. via residential fuel cells and
  • end user driven applications.

Many of the technologies are well developed, but applications are – as of today – not yet commercially viable, because of the supply demand dead-lock which does not bring hydrogen prices down to the necessary level at the desired locations to drive big volume applications. In order to break this deadlock, a kick-start for the involved technologies and a massive investment in green hydrogen production is necessary. On 09.10.2019 Hydrogen Europe and DG GROW are organizing the "Hydrogen for Climate Action" conference (www.hydrogen4climateaction.eu) that should serve as the initial step of a hydrogen launch platform in order to better determine the most promising applications and to bring together the relevant industrial actors in the EU as well as the relevant financing sources from all European regions.

About Hydrogen Europe
Hydrogen Europe is the European association representing the interest of the hydrogen and fuel cell industry and its stakeholders. We promote Hydrogen as the enabler of a zero-emission society. With more than 130 companies, 70 research organisations and 17 national associations as members, our association encompasses the entire value chain of the European Hydrogen and fuel cell ecosystem collaborating in the Fuel Cell Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. We are a Brussels-based association fostering knowledge and pushing for fact-based policy making ensuring that the European regulatory framework enables the role of Hydrogen in our society. For more information, please visit www.hydrogeneurope.eu and follow us on Twitter @H2Europe!