Renewable Hydrogen Summit stresses need to accelerate renewable hydrogen and replace fossil fuels

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Today, CEOs from leading companies across the value chain, top EU decision-makers, and hundreds of stakeholders gathered at the Renewable Hydrogen Summit organized by the Renewable Hydrogen Coalition (RHC) to discuss the necessary policies to accelerate the renewable hydrogen uptake in Europe and deliver the European Commission’s (EC) REPowerEU plan to reduce the continent’s dependence on fossil imports.

The European Commission estimates that upscaling renewable hydrogen and its derivatives would accelerate decarbonization and reduce the EU’s reliance on natural gas from Russia by approximately 27 bcm.

“We have to diversify away from Russian fossil fuels,” said Energy Commissioner K. Simson. “This means speeding up the green transition. Renewable hydrogen plays a crucial role to decarbonize hard-to-electrify industry and transport. We need it for the planet; we need it for our independence and security of energy supply. With RepowerEU, we plan to roll out this solution faster, taking our EU Green Deal ambitions to the next level and giving ourselves the tools to make it happen.”

“Renewable hydrogen is a solution for today and for tomorrow,” said RHC Chairman Ignacio Galán, chairman and CEO of Iberdrola. “It can significantly replace imported fossil fuels and polluting hydrogen made out of these fossil fuels. The Renewable Hydrogen Coalition members are helping to deliver EU climate and energy ambition, making our continent cleaner and stronger thanks to home-grown renewable hydrogen produced with technologies made in Europe. We congratulate the Commission’s strong leadership in REPowerEU. This should be followed by enabling and stable policies that spur a supply and demand shock and boost investments now.”

The RHC calls on policymakers to take the following measures with no delay:

  • Adopt an enabling definition of renewable hydrogen. RHC welcomes the draft Delegated Act proposed by the EC and recognizes the significant efforts made to better reflect the reality of projects: long and complex permitting procedures holding back the deployment of renewables Europe needs to meet its energy climate objectives. To meet the REPowerEU ambition, first movers should be enabled to ramp up renewable hydrogen supply and their business cases must be secured.
  • Streamline permitting of renewables but also renewable hydrogen installations in the public and industry’s interest. Faster permitting is crucial to build the necessary additional capacity for renewable hydrogen production.
  • Adopt the most ambitious binding targets for the uptake of renewable hydrogen and derived e-fuels in hard-to-electrify industry and transport, as proposed by the European Commission. The binding nature of the targets is essential to send a strong market signal, unlock existing demand, and drive major investments upstream in the value chain.
  • Ensure fast and simplified access to support and finance instruments. Offtakers still face high costs to shift to clean technologies. If properly designed and quickly accessible, carbon contracts for the difference could have a huge impact, accelerating the uptake by industrial offtakers.

“Scaling up production capacities in line with the REPowerEU ambition will create a new European industrial champion: electrolysis,” said RHC Vice-Chairman Nils Aldag. “Building 120 GW of electrolyzers in the EU in less than eight years calls for unprecedented efforts of manufacturers and unconventional policy instruments. Industry and policy makers share a responsibility to ramp up the market with the scale and speed required. We cannot get this wrong. Now is the time for decisive actions.”

More info: renewableh2.eu