Hydrogen technologies have found their place in the decarbonisation scenarios of the largest and most influential organisations in the shaping of the global energy landscape, including the International Energy Agency. In particular, green hydrogen, produced by electrolysis of water powered by electricity from renewable energy sources, is identified as a tool to complement the three priority solutions for reducing emissions – further dynamic development of RES, direct electrification of end-use sectors and energy efficiency. Nevertheless, its role in sectors that are difficult to decarbonise, e.g. steel or heavy transport (aviation, shipping), will be important on the road to achieving climate neutrality.
However, the development of green hydrogen is still at a very early stage – its production represents only about 0.25% of that total in the European Union, dominated by natural gas-based steam reforming. By the end of the decade, the number and size of electrolyser projects are expected to increase significantly, although uncertainty about the shape of relevant regulations and support schemes may be an obstacle to this. It is therefore essential that the development of the green hydrogen economy follows a set of principles that will allow it to properly contribute to the decarbonisation of the European energy system.
Such principles have been formulated as part of the publication “Policies for a Sustainable Hydrogen Economy in Europe”, co-authored by Michał Smoleń and Wojciech Żelisko, experts from the Instrat Foundation. They aim to indicate the correct direction for the development of a regulatory framework for the European green hydrogen economy, particularly for Poland, Germany and Portugal, which will be compatible with national hydrogen strategies and the wider development of a sustainable energy system.
The publication was prepared within the Greening H2 project consortium, consisting of the Instrat Foundation, the Portuguese environmental organisation ZERO and the German organisation Germanwatch. The project was funded by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI), a financial instrument of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.
The publication is available for download here.