Hydrogen Europe has recognised the role that the Czech presidency will play in the energy transition and in particular for the hydrogen economy. Indeed, the Presidency comes at a very crucial stage for the European Green Deal, with important elements such as the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) awaiting final votes before the end of this year.
In a meeting with Hydrogen Europe’s CEO Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade, Jozef Síkela stressed the importance of including Member States with limited access to renewable energy production in Europe’s hydrogen ambitions. According to him, combining low-carbon electricity from various sources could make clean hydrogen much more competitive, enabling accelerated uptake by industry and fuel suppliers. Thus, the Delegated Act on additionality would need to reflect these aspects by providing much more flexibility and enabling more Member States to produce competitively priced clean hydrogen.
Last year in July, the Czech Republic was among those countries that unveiled a national hydrogen strategy, based on four pillars: low-carbon hydrogen production, low-carbon hydrogen utilisation, hydrogen transport and storage and hydrogen technologies. The aim, as pointed out by the Ministry is to start in the Czech Republic a new low-carbon economy which will gradually replace the one that is heavily dependent on fossil fuels and which will gradually shrink.
Regarding the legislative proposals on the table of the Czech Presidency, it was discussed that any unnecessary complexity should be avoided until the first ramp-up phase of hydrogen technologies is fulfilled. Considering that we anticipate hydrogen will only become a commodity market from 2030 onwards, Hydrogen Europe added that the same step-by-step approach should also apply to the Delegated act on additionally.
Furthermore, Hydrogen Europe welcomed the membership of the Ústí region and plans to develop a hydrogen valley in the Czech Republic, highlighting especially the role of the railway sector. Several options for building a future hydrogen corridor in Central and Eastern Europe were discussed, which could be an important step in connecting Ukraine’s recovery plan with the pending need to replace Russian gas and oil.