How to build a market for clean hydrogen, how to close the gaps? That is the title of a high-level conference organized by the President of EU-Portugal in April. The Portuguese government has shown a specific interest in the hydrogen economy and has planned to expand extremely successful auctions for renewable electricity to produce renewable hydrogen.
Hydrogen has had unprecedented growth in 2020. From an innovative niche technology, it is rapidly becoming a systemic element in the European Union’s effort to transition to a society. Climate neutralization by 2050. It will become an important and longer energy vector of energy transition – along with renewable electricity – by replacing coal, oil and gas in other segments. each other’s economy. The rapid development of hydrogen is not only important for meeting the EU climate goals, but also for maintaining and enhancing the EU’s economic and industrial competitiveness.
The year 2020 has seen the emergence of hydrogen strategies in many European countries and for the EU as a whole. European countries with a hydrogen strategy include Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Spain. Geographical and regional features differ within the European Union and vary widely. Member states will have different rates of change and adaptation when it comes to hydrogen, and a combination of different technology solutions and support schemes are needed.
Today, neither low-carbon nor renewable hydrogen is cost-competitive compared to hydrogen produced through unabated fossil gas. The cost of renewable hydrogen needs to be quickly reduced to meet the strategic goal of the EU hydrogen strategy: developing renewable hydrogen.
Most of the national hydrogen strategies are based on the EU-hydrogen Strategy presented on 8 July 2020, together with the European Commission’s Strategy for Energy System Integration. The goal of the strategy is a climate-neutral Europe as part of the European Green Agreement effort.
The strategy targets 1 million tons of hydrogen and 6GW of electrolytic capacity by 2024 and 10 million tons and 2x40GW by 2030. These strategies aim to create an environment conducive to the development of hydrogen Safe, safe, affordable and economically fair in Europe.
The EU Hydrogen Strategy represents the first step towards success. Now, the EU needs to “take action” to make ambition a reality. Existing hydrogen policy and regulatory elements of hydrogen are allocated across gas, electricity, fuel, emissions and industrial frameworks, with limited overall coordination. It’s time for hydrogen to move from a back pillar to the central pillar of the energy system, and its critical role in bringing about climate neutrality means it deserves a dedicated framework. .
During the President of the European Union conference, a dedicated article was proposed called the “Hydrogen Act”, not to be a single set of laws, it was intended as a look for a common framework aimed at harmonizing and integrating all hydrogen-related actions and legislation. The Hydrogen Act focuses on the infrastructure and market aspects, describing three phases of development: the start-up phase, the growth phase, and the market growth phase.
In order to achieve the 2024 and 2030 goals of the EU Hydrogen Strategy, a start-up phase will require, within a limited time, exceptions and violations of existing EU rules, such as loose and / or reform EU state aid rules. Considering the challenges facing the hydrogen sector in the context of the EU Green Agreement, the European economic recovery after COVID19 and the Hydrogen Strategy, the dedicated guidelines for state aid to technologies Hydrogen needs to be boosted.
Going forward, the Hydrogen Act describes various methods to encourage the market to run production and demand, including quotas, aimed at promoting clean steel and ammonia. In terms of infrastructure, the hydrogen network regulation requires a gradually evolving approach to market and infrastructure development. This phase of intensification will begin as early as 2025 in order to keep the level of funding through taxpayer money to a minimum. The final stage describes the period in which hydrogen will achieve market growth.
Clear, science-based definitions are required for the different methods of hydrogen production. To establish a robust carbon mitigation system, the CO2 content of energy carriers and vectors will become the “new currency” of the EU energy and economic recovery system. This should be supported by adopting a life cycle calculation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from low carbon and renewable hydrogen, as well as strong and transparent sustainability criteria that are consistent with the principles of the cyclical economy.
This methodology should be the basis for relevant EU funding programs and financial support for all energy carriers, including hydrogen projects, as well as for hydrogen trade with third countries. father. To support this, there is a need for a traceability, traceable, tradable, transparent and trustworthy certification scheme that enhances the credibility and tradability of hydrogen as a commodity. globalization.
The Hydrogen Act is a vision statement contributing to the implementation of the EU Hydrogen Strategy. The ultimate goal of the Hydrogen Act is to contribute to the establishment of a liquid and functional market for clean hydrogen as a new commodity in Europe, building the backbone of the global clean hydrogen market.