Monday, January 18, 2021
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CEE companies join call for an inclusive Hydrogen Strategy

Thirty-three leading energy companies and associations are calling for a Hydrogen Strategy, inclusive of all clean hydrogen pathways.

In a letter to Vice-President Frans Timmermans, the signatories reminded that reaching climate neutrality by 2050 in the EU will require the right regulatory framework for scaling up clean technologies to reach deeper emission cuts.

In the regard, clean hydrogen will play a key role and can make a real difference as a clean energy vector and clean feedstock, particularly for energy-intensive industries, heating, transport and in power generation.

“As we firmly believe that Europe’s future energy system needs to take a technology-neutral approach to drive the most cost-efficient and cost-effective decarbonisation, we support a strategy which comprises all clean hydrogen production pathways, including electrolysis, methane pyrolysis and natural gas reforming in combination with carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS),” reads the letter.

Today, hydrogen produced from natural gas delivers the lion’s share of the EU’s industrial hydrogen, while hydrogen from clean electricity is produced in much smaller volumes.

“We fully recognise and support the growth in hydrogen from clean electricity, which will become a significant part of the hydrogen mix in 2050, while market design will need to ensure that the requirements of different consumer groups are met,” continues the letter. “However, this hydrogen alone will not be enough to develop a commercial market for clean hydrogen in the next decade. It will take time to scale up, which is why we need to deploy all scalable, enabling technologies starting today.”

In order to create these European opportunities in the short-, mid-, and long-term both for economic growth and decarbonisation, it is of key importance for the EU to invest in all hydrogen technologies to unlock the nascent hydrogen market, while supporting the development of EU hydrogen ecosystems.

Among the signatories there are also leading Central and Eastern European companies, like Hungary’s MOL, Poland’s oil and gas company PGNiG and the Romanian Federation of Associations of Energy Utility (ACUE), all willing to opening towards hydrogen technologies.

In 2019, MOL signed a memorandum of understating with Slovakia’s InoBat to develop a variety of hydrogen technology projects in the CEE region, which consist of, in particular, sourcing and supply of hydrogen, development and testing of hydrogen-rich liquid fuel, distribution and sales of such fuel, and potentially, setting up a production plant including fuel recycling facility.

Early in May, PGNiG announced the launch of a comprehensive hydrogen program consisting of several projects, from the production of green hydrogen through its storage and distribution, as well as its utilisation in the transport sector.

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