In the Second Strategic Energy Review that the European Commission presented on November 13 a five-point EU Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan is proposed, focusing on: 

  • Infrastructure needs and the diversification of energy supplies;
  • External energy relations;
  • Oil and gas stocks and crisis response mechanisms;
  • Energy efficiency: with a reference to a potential use of € 9 bln of EU Cohesion funds and in 2009, the Commission plans a thorough evaluation of the 2006 European Action Plan for Energy Efficiency;
  • Making the best use of the EU’s indigenous energy resources: pointing to the set up of an EU Sustainable Energy Financing Initiative to mobilise large-scale funding from capital markets for investments in energy efficiency, renewable energies, the clean use of fossil fuels and combined heat and power from renewables in Europe’s cities.

Hydrogen is mentioned in the chapter Visions for the future under “Ending oil dependence in transport”. On the basis of the 2008 Commission Communication “Greening Europe’s transport”, the Commission will study the actions necessary to put the EU at the forefront of these changes. In particular, it will consider
(i) the need for tax breaks and other incentives, respecting state aid law, for the purchase of greener, electric, biomethane and hydrogen vehicles and the early retirement of older, polluting ones;
(ii) the possibility of requiring a minimum percentage of all new government and local authority vehicles to be electric, biomethane or hydrogen;
(iii) requirements for filling stations to introduce the necessary infrastructure to permit the rapid development of alternative transport across Europe. It will also consider how to catalyse further improvements in the efficiency of vehicles after 2012.