The European Union recently unveiled plans to establish itself as the world leader in hydrogen technologies. They aim to boost the production of clean hydrogen to create a multi billion euro market by 2050.
This initiative will not only help in supporting about 1 million jobs, but will also help achieve greenhouse-gas reduction targets. German heavy industry has welcomed this project. However, environmentalists and Green lawmakers are pushing for a total exclusion of hydrogen made on the basis of fossil fuels.
The European Commission is hopeful that this project would help the EU’s economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic
“The current crisis gives us the opportunity to significantly advance Europe’s transformation into a leading market for digital, sustainable and climate-friendly technologies. In this context, hydrogen plays a crucial role,” German energy minister Peter Altmaier said.
The EU will need to spend €145bn ($160bn) on grants and subsidies by 2030. To ensure “an innovative and competitive hydrogen manufacturing industry can start up, build up and scale up” this sector is expected to lure up to 470 billion euros ($530.72 billion)
European industry is currently using about 8 million tonnes of hydrogen per year. However most of it is grey hydrogen which is manufactured through fossil fuels. At present it accounts for less than 2% of Europe’s energy mix. By 2050, EU aims at increasing that to 14% and decarbonizing production of hydrogen using renewable energy sources.
According to the European Commission, clean hydrogen has the potential to reduce carbon emissions in European industries by 90 million tons per year by 2030.