France and Germany urge for coordinated green hydrogen roll-out in Europe

Industry federations from France and Germany are lobbying for the construction of a joint European hydrogen infrastructure to accelerate the technology’s roll-out across the region.

German industry federation BDI and its French counterparts France Industrie and Medef said they want to collaborate on establishing an entire hydrogen production and processing chain to lay the groundwork for the comprehensive decarbonization of Europe’s economy. The BDI’s Holger Lösch said that demand for green hydrogen would soon become “gigantic” across Europe.

“No EU member state could produce enough hydrogen and provide the necessary infrastructure on its own,” Lösch argued, adding that a level playing field with identical rules in all EU countries would help orchestrate an effective roll-out. “What is needed is an EU-wide certification system based on the CO2 footprint of climate-neutral gases.” Investors in electrolyzers and other hydrogen infrastructure would have to be reassured that enough demand is forthcoming, while companies must be certain that green hydrogen will be available, BDI’s deputy managing director said.

The head of Germany’s largest energy company RWE, Markus Krebber, recently said excessive EU regulation is stalling the development of a competitive hydrogen infrastructure in Europe, especially by imposing that additional renewable power sources rolled out in parallel are needed to classify hydrogen as “green.” Green hydrogen is considered necessary to decarbonize sectors of the economy that are hard to wean off fossil fuels otherwise, for example in industry applications. Beyond implementing a domestic hydrogen infrastructure, most EU states plan to import large quantities of green hydrogen from overseas.