9 November 2021

Policy makers, regulators and governments talk about carbon neutrality, but what does the road-map from fossil fuels to climate neutrality actually look like? 

Ilias Bafounis explores how the EU are tackling the issue by developing their hydrogen strategy.

 


#1 The strategy is clear 

The European Commission wants to make Europe climate neutral by 2050 and achieve 55% greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2030. To that end, the EU has put its faith on the use of hydrogen as the “fuel of the future” made very clear by the EU's Hydrogen Strategy which aims to give a boost to clean hydrogen production in Europe.

#2 Creating more jobs

Hydrogen is considered an investment priority to boost economic growth and resilience, create local jobs and consolidate the EU’s global leadership.


#3 What are the targets? 

In the well-known Fit for 55 package, the European Commission details a plan for a 50% target share in hydrogen consumption in the industry sector and has set a target of 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen to be produced in the EU by 2030 and for hydrogen refuelling stations to be more widely available.

#4 Financing hydrogen 

Under certain conditions, hydrogen is also considered a sustainable activity based on the EU taxonomy criteria. The EU is investing hugely into green activities, research and innovation. Not only the European Investment Bank will provide financing advisory support for hydrogen projects but also the EU is relaxing state aid requirements to facilitate investments in hydrogen projects across all Member States.

#5 Green or Blue?

But hydrogen isn't perfect. The so-called “green hydrogen” or hydrogen produced from renewable energies forms a key plank of the EU’s carbon neutral strategy. At the moment, there is no sufficient investment, capacity or knowledge for the widespread use of green hydrogen. For that reason, several Member States back the use of “blue hydrogen” or hydrogen which is made from natural gas, an option that denounced by environmental groups. Whatever the future holds, one thing is certain: scientific investment and innovation will be key in achieving the hydrogen targets, increasing the efficiency of existing technologies and developing new solutions.

#6 Who's leading the way? 

The uses of clean hydrogen are abundant especially concerning heavy industries (such as steelmaking, cement, chemicals) and the transport sector. Several businesses and companies have been leading by example when it comes on incorporating low-carbon hydrogen in their activities such as Cummins. 

Cummins Inc. is one of DeHavilland’s clients at the forefront of environmental sustainability for decades. Recently, the company made public its commitment to hydrogen in the European region, addressing both production of the low-carbon energy source as well as the fuel cell technology to convert it into power for customers. read more about our work with Cummins here
 

Ilias Bafounis
About the author
Ilias Bafounis
Ilias is the Health & Infrastructure Lead in DeHavilland EU, providing intelligence, research and advice on a range of issues from the EU pharmaceutical policy to the impact of the Green Deal initiatives to large corporations & organisations. Before joining DeHavilland, Ilias worked for a London-based consultancy advising clients in the pharmaceutical and FMCG sectors.

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