The European Commission will inaugurate its much-anticipated Hydrogen Bank this week in order to support the increase of renewable hydrogen in the EU’s energy mix. The goal is to make €800 million from European funds available to help the industry and incentivize private investment. Green hydrogen is expected to play a key role in decarbonizing the EU to achieve its emission reduction goals by 2050.
Commission Executive Vice President, Maroš Šefčovič, stated in an interview that the aim is to demonstrate global leadership in the use of new technologies, by replacing fossil fuels with green hydrogen, producing low or no carbon footprint steel, and visually powering vehicles by green hydrogen. In 2022, hydrogen accounted for less than 2% of the bloc’s energy consumption and was primarily used to produce chemical products such as plastics and fertilizers. The priority for the EU is to develop renewable hydrogen and to produce 10 million tonnes and import another ten million by 2030.
During the EU’s Hydrogen Week in Brussels, the sector will join the dots between the European Commission, policymakers, researchers, and industry. Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe, emphasized the potential of producing hydrogen in countries with a lot of wind and solar energy, such as Spain, Ireland, and Denmark, as well as the need for importation from countries like South Africa, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia. However, infrastructure and investment are still needed, but some projects are already underway such as a proposed 400-mile hydrogen pipeline under the North Sea and an underwater pipeline between Spain and France.