12 Days of Content: Hydrogen Europe

If 2023 is the year of regulatory completion, as far as hydrogen is concerned, 2024 could be the year of political upheaval. Several important elections taking place across Europe could determine the direction and speed of the industry scale up.

Three quarters of the way through this year, and we can finally – and proudly – say that the main investment framework in the EU is largely complete. We now have a definition of renewable hydrogen along with binding targets for its use in industry and transport. We have regulation for the shipping and aviation sector, binding targets for the roll out of hydrogen refuelling stations and a carbon emission system to push down emissions while protecting the industry from a possible relocation (ETS & CBAM); that’s the glass half-full perspective.

The half-empty view is that there is still uncertainty on how certification schemes will actually prove compliance with the renewable hydrogen definition, as the industry is still waiting for Commission validation of EU-wide voluntary schemes. Discussions on low-carbon hydrogen have not yet started, which could delay investments in that front well into 2025. On the infrastructure front policymakers are still debating the rules for planning and investing into new and retrofitted assets, as well as some market entry aspects.

The recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report on hydrogen market has shown that Europe is not alone in the hydrogen race. The US and Asia are actively developing their own markets and supply chain while we see very promising hydrogen production projects in Middle East, Africa and South America.

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