The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) InnoEnergy, with the support of Breakthrough Energy (a network of entities founded by Bill Gates and the world’s top tech and business leaders), launched the European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Centre (EGHAC) to speed up climate neutrality.
EIT InnoEnergy’s aim with the EGHAC is to support the development of an annual 100 billion euros green hydrogen economy by 2025. According to their very positive forecast, they predict half a million direct and indirect jobs across the green hydrogen value chain.
One of the most substantial and urgent targets is to close the price gap between carbon-emitting technologies and green hydrogen, which would drive essential displacement of hydrocarbons in energy-intensive industrial applications, (for example steel, cement, chemicals), heavy transport (including maritime and heavy duty) and fertilisers.
“The commercialisation of green hydrogen is absolutely vital if Europe is to achieve its ambitious goals of becoming the first net-zero continent by 2050,” said Jacob Ruiter, member of EIT InnoEnergy Executive Board. “Quite simply, there is no better way of decarbonising heavy industry and heavy transport, and it can also play a significant role in supporting grid flexibility through storage. We are delighted to be spearheading this initiative with the support of Breakthrough Energy and look forward to working in earnest to reduce the cost of green hydrogen, stimulate market uptake and build a strong European green hydrogen value chain, as quickly as possible. Speed is of the essence.”
EIT InnoEnergy has already gained precious experiences from the European Battery Alliance (EBA) project, which has become a highly successful blueprint for developing specialised industrial value chains in Europe, in addition with mighty economic impact: its annual market value is estimated at 250 billion euros from 2025 onwards.
EIT InnoEnergy’s conclusion is that the key to their success is operating at the centre of the energy transition, bringing innovators, entrepreneurs, investors and other key stakeholders around the table to deliver a very ambitious target.
Among others that is why the EGHAC will manage several workstreams, for example, the promotion and co-creation of industrial projects across the value chain, building connections with other industrial and energy value chains, acceleration of technology development, stimulation of market growth, societal acceptance, and addressing the skills gaps.
“The European Union’s Green Deal is the perfect launching pad for the European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Centre. Building on the political momentum, the Centre will use green hydrogen as a driver for the deep decarbonisation of European industry,” commented Ann Mettler, senior director at Breakthrough Energy. “Against this backdrop, it will create a pipeline of pioneering large-scale projects, launch a new generation of public-private partnerships and accelerate the speed of delivery from mega- to gigawatts.”