Renewables

Electrolyzer industry to boost capacity by ten times to meet EU clean hydrogen goals

Electrolyzer industry capacity ten times EU clean hydrogen goals

Photo: Hydrogen Europe

Published

May 9, 2022

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Published:

May 9, 2022

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European electrolyzer manufacturers committed to a tenfold increase in capacity by 2025 to meet the EU’s clean hydrogen goals, and the European Commission vowed to facilitate financing and accelerate the permitting process.

European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton and European electrolyzer manufacturers met in Brussels to discuss how to increase the capacity to produce clean hydrogen. “Clean hydrogen is indispensable to reduce industrial carbon emissions and contribute to our energy independence from Russia. We have no time to lose,” he said.

The commissioner and 20 chief executives signed a joint declaration whereby the industry committed to a tenfold increase of its electrolyzer manufacturing capacity by 2025. It will enable the annual production of 10 million tons of renewable hydrogen by 2030 in the European Union, the European Commission said. In March, it set the target in the announcement of the upcoming REPowerEU package to reduce the reliance on Russian fossil fuels.

Green hydrogen goals to further increase demand for electricity

Electrolyzer manufacturers said they would increase their manufacturing capacity to 17.5 GW per year. The measure is expressed as hydrogen output, equivalent to 25 GW in electricity input, according to industry estimates.

“Producing 10 million tons of renewable hydrogen by 2030 will require approximately 500 TWh of renewable electricity, adding to already high demand resulting from electrification and the decarbonization of electricity generation. Delivering large quantities of hydrogen from production sites to consumers will require important infrastructure upgrades for hydrogen transmission, distribution, and storage. Hydrogen demand and supply fluctuations will need to be balanced with long-term storage,” the declaration reads.

European Commission helping to integrate value chain

The document features the commission’s actions to put in place a supportive regulatory framework, facilitate access to finance and promote efficient supply chains.

The EU’s executive body said it would adopt a legislative proposal to accelerate permitting for renewable energy projects, including renewable hydrogen, and set the assessment of state aid notification for hydrogen projects as a priority. The European Investment Bank stands ready to support hydrogen project promoters in their preparation for potential financing, it added.

Only the hydrogen produced from renewable sources will qualify as renewable hydrogen

The commission and the representatives of the hydrogen industry said they would integrate the value chain and diversify and tackle dependency on key raw materials and chemicals within the framework of the EU industrial strategy.

In cooperation with Hydrogen Europe, the commission organized the event under the auspices of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, which brings together 1,600 interested parties from industry, public authorities, civil society, and research institutions.

The signatories said that only the hydrogen produced from renewable sources will qualify as renewable hydrogen. Additionally, the European Commission has vowed to adopt the methodology for defining low carbon hydrogen.

Gray hydrogen is produced from gas, but it is called blue hydrogen if carbon dioxide emissions are captured and then stored or used for a different industrial purpose. When the process is powered by nuclear energy, it is called pink hydrogen. It is green hydrogen if electricity from renewables is used.

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