100% renewable targets will require power storage to manage flows on the net
Electrolysers utilise these intermittent power flows to produce H2 gas from water
H2 gas can be stored in large quantities underground and transported via existing gas pipelines
H2 vehicles recharge faster and are more durable than battery powered transport
Growing H2 demand in industrial processes will reduce costs and increase supply

On July 8, 2020 the EU Commission published an impressive effort to frame all recent H2 ambitions in Europe in a comprehensive strategy that would make use of existing and “NextGeneration” EU funding.

After decades of steady technical progress supported by different EU programs, mainly Trans Euopean Network for Transport and the Fuel cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, as well national and regional funding, industry and public authorities seem ready to back a massive roll out.

Main points in the EU H2 Strategy are the ambition for 6 GW electrolyser deployment (up from 1 GW today ) by 2024 and 40GW by 2030, costing between €24 and €42 billion. This would require scaling up 80-120 GW of solar and wind energy production capacity.  Investments in retrofitting fossil-fuelled based hydrogen production with carbon capture and storage will cost around €11 billion.  €65 billion will be needed for hydrogen transport, distribution and storage, and hydrogen. Till 2050, investments in EU production capacities would amount to €180-470 billion. Finally end-use sectors will need  €160-200 million to convert for example a typical EU steel installation coming to end-of-life to hydrogen. In the road transport sector, rolling out an additional 400 small-scale hydrogen refuelling stations (compared to 100 today) is estimated at  €850-1000 million.

The last section of the EU H2 Strategy, dedicated to international development cooperation fuels, EHA’s hope and commitment to further cooperation with especially emerging countries. Especially to secure a fair and sustainable “Energy and Transport Transition” at a global level for this “Next Generation”. This would require an engagement of these countries on equal footing to harvest the benefits outlined in the first section of this EU H2 Strategy.

Photo: courtesy  from the German NOW program webinar of the German Strategy on June 17, 2020.