Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

European Commission and industry join forces to produce more clean hydrogen

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Tuesday, May 10th 2022 à 10:05 | Read 845 times

The European Commission and twenty CEOs of electrolyser companies have signed an agreement to increase electrolyser production capacity in the European Union tenfold.

The sector's industrialists are going to multiply by ten the production capacity of electrolysers in the European Union (photo: Hydrogen Europe)
The sector's industrialists are going to multiply by ten the production capacity of electrolysers in the European Union (photo: Hydrogen Europe)
EU. A meeting on Thursday 5 May 2022 in Brussels between Thierry Breton and European electrolyser manufacturers resulted in a very important agreement for the future of green hydrogen in the European Union. Under the aegis of Hydrogen Europe (an organisation representing companies in the sector) and the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance (created in July 2020 by the European Commission), the participants agreed to increase electrolyser production capacity in the European Union (EU) tenfold by 2025.

A joint declaration was signed by the European Commissioner for the Internal Market and twenty CEOs of the industry. "Clean hydrogen is essential to reduce industrial carbon emissions and contribute to our energy independence from Russia. We have no time to lose, which is why this European electrolyser summit comes at the right time," said Thierry Breton.

"This increase will make it possible to achieve an annual production of 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen in the European Union by 2030," said a press release. This is the goal set in March 2022 by REPowerEU, a draft plan to make the EU independent of Russian fossil fuels, starting with gas, in the context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "This will make Europe's energy supply more sustainable and secure and reduce the EU's dependence on Russian gas," the European Commission said when presenting REPowerEU.

At the same time, the institution recommended joint purchases of gas at EU level, in response to rising energy prices. It also required a minimum storage of 80% of each Member State's gas reserve capacity. By 1 October 2022, underground gas reservoirs must be filled to at least 90% of capacity.

17.5 GW per year of hydrogen

REPowerEU seeks to diversify gas supply, accelerate the deployment of renewable gases and replace gas used for heating and power generation. "This can reduce the EU's demand for Russian gas by two-thirds by the end of the year," says the European Commission. "We need to act now to mitigate the effects of rising energy prices, diversify our gas supply for next winter and accelerate the transition to clean energy. The sooner we switch to renewables and hydrogen, while increasing energy efficiency, the sooner we will be truly independent and in control of our energy system," commented European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in March 2022.

"Renewable energy is a cheap, clean and potentially unlimited source of energy and instead of financing the fossil fuel industry elsewhere, it creates jobs here," added Frans Timmermans, executive vice-president of the European Commission in charge of the Green Pact for Europe.

According to the joint declaration of 5 May 2022, electrolyser manufacturers in Europe are committed to increasing production capacity to 17.5 GW per year. For its part, the European Commission will put in place a favourable regulatory framework, facilitate access to finance and promote efficient supply chains. In particular, it will work with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support financing for the construction and deployment of electrolysers.

"The actions agreed today will pave the way for large-scale clean hydrogen production in Europe, decarbonising industrial sectors and transport applications where emissions are otherwise difficult to reduce," a statement said.


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