As stated in the RePowerEU communication,action plan and roadmap, the European Commission aims to reduce European dependence on Russian energy, particularly through clean hydrogen. RePowerEU calls for an EU production target of 10 million tons of clean hydrogen by 2030 along with 10 million tons of imported clean hydrogen by 2030.Hydrogen is expected to play an important role in achieving EU objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 55% by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050. We are facilitating the large-scale deployment of hydrogen to contribute to climate neutrality.
Achieving these ambitious objectives requires transformational change and the full mobilisation of industry.
Hydrogen can be used to carry and store energy, as a fuel and an energy feedstock. It does not emit CO2 and generates almost no air pollution when used. Clean hydrogen use (hydrogen created using either renewable or low-carbon energy sources) can help decarbonise energy-intensive industries such as steel, chemicals and cement, the transport sector (e.g., heavy-duty vehicles, rail and maritime), and the power sector.
For hydrogen to contribute to climate neutrality, its deployment needs to achieve a far larger scale and its production must become decarbonised. The priority is the production and use of renewable hydrogen. However, in the short- to medium-term other forms of low-carbon hydrogen are needed.
European Clean Hydrogen Alliance
The Commission set up the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance in July 2020 to support the creation of a European hydrogen industry and the deployment of clean hydrogen for Europe’s green transition. It brings together around 1700 stakeholders from industry, civil society, research bodies, investors, and public authorities. It includes all parts of the hydrogen value chain, from clean hydrogen production and transmission to industry, mobility, energy and buildings applications.
Read more about how the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance helps increase the EU’s energy independence and meet decarbonisation targets.
In October 2021, the alliance presented a report identifying barriers to the large-scale deployment of hydrogen and proposing mitigating measures.
In May 2022, the alliance organised a European electrolyser summit where the electrolyser industry committed, in a joint declaration, to a ten-fold increase in manufacturing capacity by 2025. This will enable the annual EU production of 10 million tons of renewable hydrogen by 2030, as set out in the March 2022 REPowerEU Communication. The summit also led to the creation of the alliance’s electrolyser partnership in September 2022.
At the Hydrogen Forum in June 2022, the alliance permitting working group presented its report identifying barriers to the permitting of hydrogen projects, highlighting good and bad hydrogen permitting practices and providing policy recommendations.
Hydrogen public funding compass
The EU has created several funding instruments to help finance hydrogen projects. Interested stakeholders can use the hydrogen public funding compass to learn more about how their projects can benefit.
Important projects of common European interest (IPCEIs) can obtain state aid under a specific mechanism to address market failures for large-scale cross-border integrated projects. The Commission approved the first two groups of IPCEIs. Work is continuing on two more groups of hydrogen IPCEIs.
Hydrogen research and innovation
The EU promotes hydrogen research and innovation under its Horizon Europe research programme, managed largely by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership.