As per the REPowerEU plan, published in May, the EU will strive to achieve a supply 20Mt of green hydrogen by 2030 – 10Mt produced and 10Mt imported – that are echoed by the new binding targets for different sectors:
- renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO) at least 5.7% of all fuels by 2030, including 1.2% in the maritime sector
- 50% of industry to transition to green hydrogen by 2030 (70% by 2035)
This will help ramp up the sector and make hydrogen a key component of Europe’s green energy strategy. Additionally, for the transport sector greenhouse gas intensity reductions of at least 16% have been set by 2030.
The focus of these actions is to accelerate the uptake of renewable hydrogen, ammonia and other derivatives in hard-to-decarbonise sectors, such as transport, and in energy-intensive industrial processes.
The binding targets set out in RED II for the industry and mobility sectors will contribute between 9Mt-10Mt of green hydrogen. In order to make sure that production can start immediately, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her state of the union address announced the creation of a new European Hydrogen Bank.
In her statement, she argued that hydrogen can be ”a game changer for Europe”.
Hydrogen Europe believes that the €3bn budget – from the existing Innovation Fund – will be a good starting point.
“However we will be working to leverage that amount to ensure we move our hydrogen economy from niche to scale,” it said in a statement.
CEO Jorgo Chatzimarkakis said, “This is yet another historical day for the hydrogen sector in Europe and globally. These binding targets on renewable hydrogen, and the creation of a simpler framework, are strong signals from the EU institutions to ensure the scale up of a hydrogen economy and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. We need to bring production and demand into a right balance, and the new European Hydrogen Bank is the right instrument under which to do so.”
The next few months will be crucial as the European Parliament and Czech presidency seek to finalise a position with the Commission on RED II.
Hydrogen accounts for less than 2% of Europe’s present energy consumption and is primarily used to produce chemical products, such as plastics and fertilisers.
The majority of hydrogen production (96%) is through natural gas, resulting in significant amounts of CO2 emissions.
Eugene McKenna, Hydrogen Strategy Director at Johnson Matthey, said the hydrogen bank should reduce cost and risk for countries looking to invest in and build hydrogen ecosystems.
”Given we have key existing technology to contribute to and enable this ecosystem buildout, this is a significant step, especially at a time when Europe faces an unprecedented energy crisis,” he said.