The European Union is leading the way in the development of a hydrogen economy, with more than 67 GW of electrolyzer capacity in the pipeline – more than the EU’s target for 2030. However, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has warned that the installed capacity is still low and that the implementation of projects is lagging worldwide.
Von der Leyen and European Commission Executive Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič recently kicked off the first of a series of Clean Transition Dialogues aimed to help implement the European Green Deal and support the decarbonization of European industry. The first dialogue was dedicated to hydrogen, with European Commission officials engaging with representatives from the entire H2 value chain.
Speaking about the achievements of the European Commission regarding hydrogen, von der Leyen said that the EU regulatory framework for hydrogen is almost complete, that massive investments to speed up the transition are in place, and that the development of a global market for clean hydrogen is underway.
She also stressed the need to build a bridge between ambition and reality, pointing out that the installed capacity is still too low.
Hydrogen Europe CEO Jorgo Chatzimarkakis echoed von der Leyen’s concerns about the investment gap in the hydrogen industry. He said that while there is a significant number of hydrogen projects in the pipeline worldwide, only 4% of all projects have reached a final investment decision.
Chatzimarkakis also stressed the need for a one-stop shop for hydrogen financing, such as the European Investment Bank’s Hydrogen Bank. He said that this would help to simplify and accelerate procedures, allow for communication between stakeholders, and de-risk the business.
The Clean Transition Dialogue on hydrogen highlighted the need for a collaborative approach to addressing the challenges facing the industry. The European Commission, industry leaders, and other stakeholders will need to work together to ensure that the EU achieves its ambitious hydrogen targets.