The European Union (EU) is set to launch its highly anticipated Hydrogen Bank this week, with the goal of promoting the use of renewable hydrogen in the bloc’s energy mix. The bank will make €800 million available from European funds to support the industry and encourage private investment.
The Commission Executive Vice President, Maroš Šefčovič, emphasized the EU’s desire to lead in the use of new technologies and demonstrate its ability to replace fossil fuels with green hydrogen. Green hydrogen is expected to play a crucial role in achieving the bloc’s emission reduction goals by 2050, as it can produce low or no carbon footprint steel and power vehicles without polluting.
In 2022, hydrogen accounted for less than 2% of the bloc’s energy consumption and was primarily used for producing chemical products. However, the EU has set a target of producing 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen and importing another ten million by 2030. This is a significant increase from previous years and represents a major shift towards cleaner energy sources.
The Hydrogen Week in Brussels aims to bring together policymakers, researchers, and industry leaders to further develop and promote the use of hydrogen. The event takes place against a backdrop of rising energy prices and increasing concern over energy security, highlighting the importance of domestic hydrogen production within Europe, particularly in countries with substantial wind and solar resources.
However, there are still challenges that need to be addressed before renewable hydrogen can become a significant part of Europe’s energy mix. One major concern is infrastructure development and investment in renewable hydrogen projects. Several projects are already underway, such as Germany’s proposed 400-mile hydrogen pipeline under the North Sea and an underwater pipeline between Spain and France. Additionally, collaborations with countries like South Africa, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia will continue to play a role in Europe’s renewable hydrogen strategy.
Overall, Europe’s commitment to developing renewable hydrogen is an important step towards reducing emissions and transitioning to cleaner energy sources. With continued investment in infrastructure development and collaboration with other countries around the world, it is possible that green hydrogen could become a major player in Europe’s future energy mix.