EU seeks to cut cost of hydrogen

The European Commission aims to reduce the cost of hydrogen production in the context of decarbonization. This will create “hydrogen valleys” in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

“I am very proud of Europe’s role as a global pioneer in clean hydrogen,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission at the opening of European Hydrogen Week.

She mentions a number of projects, including fuel cells and electrolysers.

“At the start of this year, more than 200 new hydrogen projects were announced around the world. 55 percent of them are in Europe. It is therefore a leadership position that we have built over the years, ”she declared.

“For example, the European Union started before the rest of the world to invest in a new generation of electrolysers, designed to work with renewable energies. As a result, Europe is today the world leader in patents and publications on this technology. Some of the larger electrolysers of this new type are already operating in Europe. For example, there is one in Linz, Austria, which produces green hydrogen to power a steel plant.

“It is starting to be competitive from an economic point of view as well. Due to the current rise in gas prices that we are all seeing, green hydrogen may even today be cheaper than gray hydrogen. Our goal should be to bring the cost below 1.8 € per kilo by 2030. And that goal is within our grasp.

Earlier this year, the Norwegian electrolyzer manufacturer Nel set its own target of $ 1.50 / kg (€ 1.33 / kg) of green hydrogen produced from renewable energies by 2025 It is based on a large project to convert a coal-fired power station in Hamburg, Germany, into a 100 MW hydrogen electrolyser.

Achieving cost parity with oil will require significant investments and partnerships with the private sector and researchers under a new “Clean Hydrogen Partnership”, initially announced in February.

“We need to increase the production of clean hydrogen, expand its applications and create a virtuous circle where demand and supply feed and lower prices. This is the principle. It is without a doubt a global company, but I want Europe to lead the race, ”she said.

She mentions seven new projects worth over € 1 billion that will be funded by the European Innovation Fund, four of which are hydrogen-related, from green steel in Sweden to carbon capture in France.

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“Take, for example, the region of Groningen in the north of the Netherlands. The region has large amounts of renewable energy from its offshore wind turbines. Two electrolysers will use this renewable energy to produce green hydrogen. This hydrogen will then fuel industries, fuel public transport, heat homes and be stored underground. By the end of 2025, the north of the Netherlands will host a full green hydrogen value chain, and this hydrogen valley will create more than 20,000 jobs in the region.

“We are extending the same model to other regions, there are a lot of regions that want to follow, from the island of Mallorca to the border region between Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. This is how we can accelerate the local hydrogen economy, en route to a European hydrogen economy as a whole. “

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