European Commission is Europe’s most powerful supranational organization highlighted energy transfer as one of the most important topics for the coming years. European Green Course is one of the most ambitious mobilization plans at least 1 trillion euros in public-private investment over the next decade. Recently long-awaited hydrogen strategy leaked disclosing how leading European politicians intend to expand the value chain of fuel from production to transportation, storage and consumption.
central theme As part of its sustainability efforts, Europe is decarbonizing its industry, which requires the high temperatures that are currently generated by burning coal and natural gas. Hydrogen is extremely promising because it is applicable throughout the energy value chain. Although electrolysis production is preferred for sustainable applications, methane steam reforming is used much more often due to low costs. The EU’s hydrogen strategy is aimed at solving these problems and creating a 40 GW market by 2030.
Import and energy security
The EU is endowed with the presence of some of the world’s largest hydrocarbon deposits in the near abroad. At the same time, the strategic drawback is that most of these reserves are located in sometimes unfriendly and unstable regions, such as North Africa, the Middle East and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Energy security is an important topic for the continent, which is mainly dependent on imports.
Therefore, enhancing energy security is an important goal by increasing domestic production and reducing dependence on foreign hydrocarbon exporters. In addition, domestic hydrogen production provides an economic incentive for local energy conglomerates such as Siemens which made electrolysis-related technologies a top priority.
Europe’s hydrogen plan
Currently, 8 million tons / year “Gray” hydrogen is produced in the EU by steam reforming, which emits a significant amount of CO2. Theoretically, these facilities can be improved with carbon capture and storage technology to limit environmental damage and produce “blue” hydrogen. The leak of the document speaks of “blue” hydrogen as a way to overcome it. However, in the future it is necessary to increase the electrolysis capacity for the production of “green” hydrogen.
For a plan to become a commercial success, costs must be significantly reduced and competed with fossil fuels. Currently, “gray” hydrogen can be produced for € 1,5 / kgwhich should be the target price for future green production. According to the International Energy Agency, green hydrogen production is around From 3.50 to 5 euro / kg, The main factors for reducing costs are two factors: the availability of cheap electricity and innovations in the production of electrolyzers. Government commitment and a long-term strategy are essential in encouraging companies to invest.
EU Strategy Leak
At present, the turnover of the hydrogen economy of Europe is 2 billion euros. The EU has set itself an ambitious goal of 140 billion euros by 2030. In addition to the obvious geopolitical and technical advantages, about 140,000 jobs can be created along this path.
Although similar efforts had previously been made, strong support from the EU institutions in Brussels and several national governments convincingly proves the need for a hydrogen strategy. Germany recently introduced 9 billion euros I plan to create my own hydrogen economy. In the Netherlands, government officials are also aware of this possibility, as enterprises are actively lobbying.
In addition, the EU announced that it will launch Pure Hydrogen Alliance this will strengthen and expand supply chains in Europe. In the Commission’s view, the most obvious beneficiaries are the chemical industry, steel mills and transportation, where demand is expected to be highest.
Although the diversion of the strategy is ambitious and timely articulated, Europe as a whole needs to catch up. It is noteworthy that some Asian countries became interested in hydrogen long before the EU did, which is reflected in their investments in hydrogen technologies. Although financial support in the EU is 0.50 euros per capita, Japan invested 3 euros and China invested 4 euros.
Although there is a financial flaw, the EU stands out thanks to an integrated approach. EU President Ursula von der Leyen, for example, has announced the hydrogen part of the new industrial policyThe original strategy was intended to be published on Wednesday July 8thDespite the leak, expect EU officials to enthusiastically submit the full document, as hydrogen is seen as an essential part of Europe’s future energy system.