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European Clean Hydrogen Alliance launches Learnbook on hydrogen imports

At the end of December, the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance published its Learnbook on Hydrogen imports, which is intended to serve as an overview document and reference point for discussions on hydrogen imports.

Indeed, to reach European ambitions, hydrogen imports to the EU are needed, such as the 10 million tonnes yearly envisioned in the REPowerEU plan. Different import options are possible – each with specific benefits and challenges. The Learnbook provides insights into the different import options and how to tackle the most pressing challenges.

“Europe needs intra (within the internal market) and eventually extra (from third countries) clean hydrogen and hydrogen derivative imports if it wants to reach its projected ambitions,” said Jean Bergevin, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Senior Expert. “This Learnbook provides a very timely overview of benefits and challenges for imports.”

One pillar of hydrogen imports is the development of international strategic partnerships and supporting the growth of large-scale production projects. In this regard, the Learnbook gives an overview of potential suppliers and important export projects. The document also lists planned import projects and related infrastructure – separated into a section for maritime routes and a section for pipeline routes. The new framework for gas and hydrogen will help to kick-start the market – however, additional regulatory developments are needed as well – including definitions, standards and environmental regulations.

Infrastructure will serve as a crucial pillar and as an enabler of building up the hydrogen economy. Europe has valuable infrastructure assets, and there are many instances where existing infrastructure (ports, terminals, pipelines) could be repurposed to allow cost-effective high-volume imports. Assessment and development of relevant infrastructure at national and trans-European level needs to follow.

“Infrastructure serves as an enabler for hydrogen imports – whether through ports, terminals or pipelines, for example,” commented Piotr Kuś, ENTSOG General Director. “We are honoured to act as a facilitator of the ECH2A Transmission and Distribution Roundtable, which created this Learnbook including a variety of perspectives and opinions from academia, NGOs and industry.”

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