More than 150 of the world’s business leaders in the global hydrogen economy gathered last week at the Hydrogen Council’s latest regional CEO meeting to put the spotlight on the European Union and its positioning on the global hydrogen map.
Held in Brussels, Belgium – the seat of climate and energy policy for the EU – this meeting focused on pathways for accelerating hydrogen deployment in the EU as well as imports of hydrogen and derivatives from third countries.
Faced with an unprecedented energy crisis which poses an immense energy security and affordability challenge in the short-to-medium term, Europe finds itself at a turning point for its hydrogen and net-zero future. More than ever, moving from strategies and announcements to investments in hydrogen and renewable power are key to secure a more resilient energy future for the region.
In a live address to the assembled Hydrogen Council members, Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President (EVP) of the European Green Deal, European Commission, said, “I have strongly felt for many years that hydrogen is going to be the energy commodity of the future in the energy sector […] Hydrogen is now so close to market. We need to take the final step.”
Currently, regulatory uncertainty in Europe results in over 95% of investments in hydrogen awaiting final investment decision (FID). Attendees discussed key barriers and enablers for implementing Europe’s hydrogen ambition laid out in the REPowerEU plan, as well as the EU Hydrogen and Energy System Integration Strategy. In particular, they debated the existing and future support instruments for stimulating indigenous hydrogen production and imports, such as H2Global and the European Hydrogen Bank, as well as the Hydrogen Council’s ongoing work on the roadmap for hydrogen certification.
The Hydrogen Council’s latest report, Global Hydrogen Flows, shows the potential of enormous cost efficiency gains that can be unlocked with cross-border trade in hydrogen and derivatives, lowering the cost of hydrogen supply by 25%, or as much as USD 6 trillion of investments from now until 2050.
As EVP Timmermans highlighted to the meeting last week, “We must think global when we think about hydrogen. It is completely inevitable that we create global hydrogen markets.”
Global Hydrogen Flows is the latest report from the Hydrogen Council demonstrating there is no solution to climate change without hydrogen and reinforcing the need for urgent action by the public and private sectors to move from project proposals to FIDs. Progress with the development of global cross border trade in hydrogen and derivatives is crucial to match demand pools with cost-effective supply from renewables-rich regions.
Tom Linebarger, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Cummins Inc., and Co-Chair of the Hydrogen Council, said, “It was a great opportunity to connect with key leaders across the hydrogen economy last week and share the importance of accelerating the deployment of hydrogen funding in Europe to promote energy independence. Regional governments are investing significantly in the hydrogen economy, and this meeting showed that businesses are ready to step up and partner to make this exciting future come to fruition.”
Yoshinori Kanehana, Chairman of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., and Co-Chair of the Hydrogen Council, said, “I am truly convinced that the industry focus, combined with increasing government policy incentives and harmonised global regulatory settings for hydrogen supply chains, will pave the way for a new, clean energy to the world, for the benefit of our environment and for the sustainable future of generations to come.”
The Hydrogen Council’s diverse, global, industry membership is committed to continuing the dialogue with relevant stakeholders to move from strategies and proposals to deployment on the ground in order to deliver our global climate targets.