• EC Hydrogen Strategy chimes with UK National Grid’s recognition of need for hydrogen and CCS to meet 2050 net-zero goal

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Early July saw the European Commission release its hydrogen strategy for the European Union up to 2030. By 2024, the EC wishes to have supported the installation of 6 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers, having produced as much as 1 million tonnes of renewable H2. At least another 40 GW of capacity is to be added between 2025-30, and according to the EC factsheet, “hydrogen needs to become an intrinsic part of our integrated energy system”. From 2030 onwards, the strategy sees hydrogen being deployed at large scale, particularly in hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as steelmaking. With much of the communications being around electrolysers, one could be forgiven for thinking that the strategy is solely based on green hydrogen, but the EC has also said that blue hydrogen will be a necessary part of the scaling up of the industry. Much detail needs to be thrashed out, including tariffs, regulations (both national and EU-wide), and the dynamic functioning of the hydrogen marketplace, but the strategy is a strong signal that the Commission is serious about making the hydrogen transition happen, and the efficacy of the strategy will be highly important for the combustion industry. An estimate by the EC drives home that importance – that by 2050, clean hydrogen may supply as much as 24% of the world’s energy demand.

Meanwhile, the UK’s National Grid has said that it believes Britain’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is achievable, but only if the UK acts quickly to promote the use of carbon capture and storage and hydrogen. “Industrial-scale demonstration projects need to be operational this decade,” according to the grid operator, and the kingdom would have to have negative emissions from its power sector by 2033, another 40 GW of capacity by 2030, and vast improvements in the energy efficiency of buildings.