Wednesday, June 24, 2020

"LEAKED: Europe’s draft hydrogen strategy"

From EURACTIV, June17/ 23:

The European Commission aims to promote so-called “green” hydrogen produced from renewable electricity over the “grey” sort obtained from natural gas steam reforming, according to a leaked policy document obtained by EURACTIV.
Editor’s note: Since publication of this article, EURACTIV obtained a more recent version of the EU’s draft hydrogen strategy. Read our related article with a link to the full document here.

The Commission has made hydrogen “a central element” of plans to decarbonise industry, announcing it will launch a “Clean Hydrogen Alliance” after the summer break in a bid to build a full supply chain in Europe.

Germany, which takes over the EU’s rotating presidency in July, has taken the lead on the issue, outlining a €7 billion plan earlier this month to promote “green” hydrogen at gigawatt scale.
“Hydrogen is one of the enablers in the context of the Green Deal for decarbonising sectors like chemical industry, steel industry and transport,” the Commission document states, listing the industrial sectors where future demand for hydrogen is expected to be highest.

Now, the EU executive intends to spell out what is meant by “clean hydrogen” and put together a “strategic outlook” for the development of “a hydrogen economy in Europe,” according to the title of the draft strategy.

Priority to green H2
The European Commission declined to comment on the leaked document, saying it was still subject to change. And the version obtained by EURACTIV appears to be at a relatively early stage, with numerous bullet points and incomplete sentences.

Still, the document is outspoken about the key objectives of the strategy, which aren’t expected to change radically in the final version, expected on 8 July.

From the outset, it says the EU’s “clear priority” is to develop green hydrogen “as soon as possible” in order to advance the bloc’s long-term decarbonisation agenda.

And while the EU executive seems ready to accept that “blue” hydrogen – obtained from natural gas with carbon capture and storage – “will play a role in the transition” to a fully renewables-based hydrogen economy, it is categorical in rejecting the “grey” sort produced from fossil gas.
The hydrogen strategy will be presented on 8 July, alongside a related initiative to integrate the various components of the energy system where hydrogen is also expected to play a key role, a Commission spokesperson told EURACTIV....