A new report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Clingendael International Energy Programme discusses North-West Europe’s current hydrogen developments, policies, and potential for collaboration.
The report Hydrogen in North-Western Europe: A Vision for 2030 identifies the top four areas where governments and energy stakeholders should focus their efforts in order to develop the region’s hydrogen market.
Current policies in the area provide some impetus for expanding the hydrogen market beyond 2030, but they are not robust enough to ensure that the hydrogen sector’s full potential is realized. According to the study, more policies must be enacted to ensure that the region produces a large-scale low-carbon hydrogen supply chain.
According to the study, North-West Europe has a well-developed hydrogen industry that could be on the verge of an exponential transformation if policymakers continue to raise their ambitions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To promote the growth of the hydrogen market, European governments can set carbon emission goals that are consistent with the EU Green Deal or the UK Climate Change Act. According to the study, improving policies would enable the region to increase its hydrogen demand by a third, and low-carbon hydrogen could reach more than half of dedicated supply, up from about 10% today. North-West Europe currently accounts for around 5% of global hydrogen demand and 60% of European demand.
Individual countries have been successful in enacting policies that have resulted in the expansion of their respective hydrogen markets; however, further work is needed to move beyond national discussions and create a regional dialogue.
The following are the four goals that should be addressed:
Take advantage of the vast untapped potential for hydrogen cooperation in the north-western European region.
Determine what is needed to grow a regionally integrated sector.
Develop enabling schemes that take into account the entire hydrogen value chain.
Determine the best ways to decarbonize existing hydrogen output while also deploying additional low-carbon supply.