Green hydrogen business opportunities in the European Union

Hydrogen accounts for less than 2% of Europe’s present energy consumption and is primarily used to produce chemical products, such as plastics and fertilisers. 96% of this hydrogen production is through natural gas, resulting in significant amounts of CO2 emissions.

Renewable hydrogen can be obtained via electrolysis using renewable electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. It will play a key role in decarbonising sectors where other alternatives might be unfeasible or more expensive. It can be used to replace fossil-based hydrogen for transport and industrial processes, and to start new industrial products, such as green fertilisers and steel.

When produced at times when solar and wind energy resources are abundantly available, renewable hydrogen can also support the EU’s electricity sector, providing long-term and large-scale storage. The storage potential of hydrogen is particularly beneficial for power grids as it allows for renewable energy to be kept not only in large quantities, but also for long periods of time.

This means that hydrogen can help improve the flexibility of energy systems by balancing out supply and demand when there is either too much or not enough power being generated, helping to boost energy efficiency throughout the EU.

HyDEX organised an EU Hydrogen Summit in autumn 2022

EU hydrogen strategy

The EU strategy on hydrogen was adopted in 2020 and put forward a vision for the creation of a European hydrogen ecosystem from research and innovation to scale up production and infrastructure to an international dimension. Hydrogen is also an important part of the EU strategy for energy system integration.

The strategy explored how producing and using renewable hydrogen can help decarbonise the EU economy in a cost-effective way, in line with the European Green Deal, and contribute to the post-COVID-19 economic recovery. It listed 20 action points that were implemented by the first quarter of 2022.

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