The European Commission is set to open its much-awaited Hydrogen Bank this week, with the goal of supporting the growth of renewable hydrogen in the EU’s energy mix. The bank will make €800 million available from European funds to aid the industry and encourage private investment.
In 2022, hydrogen accounted for less than 2% of the bloc’s energy consumption, primarily used for producing chemical products. However, green hydrogen is expected to play a crucial role in the EU’s efforts to decarbonize and achieve its emission reduction goals by 2050.
The Commission Executive Vice President, Maroš Šefčovič, emphasized that the EU wants to lead in new technologies and demonstrate that it can replace fossil fuels with green hydrogen, produce low or no carbon footprint steel, and power vehicles with green hydrogen without pollution. Green hydrogen is expected to be a major contributor to these goals.
The EU aims to develop renewable hydrogen and produce 10 million tonnes by 2030. It plans to import another ten million tonnes as well. In order for this goal to be met, infrastructure investment in renewable hydrogen is still needed. Several projects are already underway, including Germany’s proposal for a 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 the EU’s renewable hydrogen strategy.
The recent energy crisis in Europe has highlighted the importance of producing more energy within Europe itself, particularly in countries with significant wind and solar resources. This will not only increase energy independence but also reduce dependence on fossil fuels and emissions from transportation.
Overall, the opening of the Hydrogen Bank marks an important step towards achieving a cleaner energy future for Europe through increased investment in renewable hydrogen technology.