Hydrogen Europe has set out the additional actions needed to deliver the EU Hydrogen Accelerator in a discussion paper.
Back in March, the European Commission proposed REPowerEU – a plan to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels “well before” 2030, as a response to is invasion of Ukraine. These efforts include a proposed Hydrogen Accelerator to develop infrastructure, storage facilities and ports, replacing demand for Russian gas with renewable hydrogen, with an additional 15mn tonnes (mt) targeted on top of the 5.6mt goal as set out within its Fit for 55 proposals, resulting in a saving of 25-50bcm of gas by 2030.
Hydrogen Europe, therefore, sought to explore additional tools and actions needed from the EU to ensure these targets can be achieved. These include bootstrapping the European hydrogen system, meaning realising proper hydrogen infrastructure and storage capacity before supply and demand can be scaled up accordingly, and coordinating and accelerating EU hydrogen infrastructure and storage capacity planning in an integrated manner.
A European Hydrogen Cross-Border Infrastructure and Storage Facility, in addition to those of Member States, to plan, invest and operate EU cross border pipeline infrastructure across the Mediterranean and the North Sea and port facilities and storage capacity beyond the EU is needed, and can initiate, invest and manage an EU strategic hydrogen reserve equivalent to at least 90 days of net import – around 2.5mt by 2030.
It also recommended developing hydrogen demand per geographical area via gas infrastructure-to-hydrogen infrastructure-conversion; creating a temporary Global European Hydrogen Facility to facilitate domestic production and import of green hydrogen; and establishing a Europeanised H2Global instrument under the Global European Hydrogen Facility.