The European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC) has proposed a phased approach to the sustainable development, production and use of green hydrogen.
In late September, it published a paper, setting out that strong governance is needed of the emerging renewable hydrogen sector, along with the removal of market barriers in the EU. It recommended carbon pricing is strengthened to stimulate markets for green hydrogen and hydrogen-derived synthetic fuels, while subsidies, taxes, levies and other incentives for fossil fuels are dropped and further regulations to accelerate change from fossil fuels to renewable hydrogen in chemical and other industries are introduced.
Targeted investments in decentralised electrolysers should focus on further cost reductions and feeding renewable hydrogen into sustainable local markets and networks. Supporting stakeholders working together in local hydrogen networks is one way that investor confidence can be built, the paper said. It recommended hydrogen is primarily used for decarbonisation applications difficult to electrify for “the foreseeable future”. EASAC urged the EU to build a strong leadership role in global hydrogen markets through actions such as developing international partnerships with third countries that include collaboration on research and technology development, as well as the trading of hydrogen production technologies, renewable hydrogen and synthetic fuels. It advocated for further studies and demand-driven initiatives to be initiated soon at EU and national levels to address “emerging and long-term needs for hydrogen infrastructure, standards and certification”.