A hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2020) 301
Publication Date 08/07/2020
Content Type


Communication published by the European Commission on 8 July 2020, setting out a strategy for the promotion of renewable hydrogen as a solution for decarbonisation in the context of the goals set by the European Green Deal.

Further information:

In this context of the European Union's commitment to reaching carbon neutrality, hydrogen has enjoyed increasing and renewed attention. Hydrogen can be used as a feedstock, a fuel or an energy carrier and storage, and has many possible applications across industry, transport, power and buildings sector. Importantly, it does not emite CO2 and almost no air pollution when used. It offers a potential solution to decarbonise industrial processes and economic sectors.

However, renewable and low-carbon hydrogen are not yet cost-competitive when compared to fossil-based hydrogen. There is therefore the need for an EU-wide strategic approach to promoting the use of renewable hydrogen. This Communication sets out a vision of how the European Union can turn clean hydrogen into a viable solution for decarbonisation, installing at least 6GW of renewable electrolysers in the EU by 2024 and 40GW by 2030. It identifies challenges to overcomes, lays out the levers that can be mobilised and presents a roadmap of action for the forthcoming years.

The Communication is seen as complementary to the Strategy for Energy System Integration - published on the same day - in the framework of the Commission's European Green Deal. Hydrogen was also addressed in the Commission's New Industrial Strategy. The policy framework is also to guide an investment agenda and projects to be developed by a European Clean Hydrogen Alliance. This collaborative platform was also formally launched alongside this Communication, on 8 July 2020.

Source Link https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=COM:2020:301:FIN
Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
Euronews, 24/01/2020: Europe's hydrogen revolution: the promise of power without pollution https://www.euronews.com/2020/01/24/europe-s-hydrogen-revolution-the-promise-of-power-without-pollution
Choose Renewable Energy: Open letter to Executive Vice-President Timmermans on renewable hydrogen as the best future-proof hydrogen solution (22 May 2020) https://www.choose-renewable-hydrogen.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/200706-Open-letter-to-EVP-Timmermans-on-renewable-hydrogen_final.pdf
Hydrogen Europe: Press Release, 02/06/2020: 90+ Hydrogen Europe CEOs ready to support Clean Hydrogen Alliance https://hydrogeneurope.eu/news/90-hydrogen-europe-ceos-ready-support-clean-hydrogen-alliance
EEB: Response to consultation on clean energy and hydrogen strategy (5 June 2020) https://eeb.org/library/eeb-contribution-to-clean-energy-an-eu-hydrogen-strategy-consultation/
EBRD: News, 22/06/2020: Is green hydrogen the sustainable fuel of the future? https://www.ebrd.com/news/2020/is-green-hydrogen-the-sustainable-fuel-of-the-future-.html
Politico, 07/07/2020: 5 hurdles facing Europe’s hydrogen plans https://www.politico.eu/article/5-hurdles-facing-europes-hydrogen-plans/
Wind Europe: Press Release, 08/07/2020: EU Energy System Integration and Hydrogen Strategies: no climate neutrality without renewables-based electrification https://windeurope.org/newsroom/press-releases/eu-energy-system-integration-and-hydrogen-strategies-no-climate-neutrality-without-renewables-based-electrification/?ref=mainbanner#video
EUObserver, 08/07/2020: Revealed: fossil-fuel lobbying behind EU hydrogen strategy https://euobserver.com/opinion/148873
Oxford University: Oxford Energy Comment, July 2020: EU Hydrogen Strategy – A case for urgent action towards implementation https://www.oxfordenergy.org/publications/eu-hydrogen-strategy-a-case-for-urgent-action-towards-implementation/
EurActiv: Opinion, 30/07/2020: EU’s hydrogen strategy a good start but key problems sidestepped https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/eus-hydrogen-strategy-a-good-start-but-key-problems-sidestepped/
European Scientist, 30/07/2020: Hydrogen strategy to nowhere
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EUObserver: Investigation, 15/10/2020: Hydrogen - the next battlefield https://euobserver.com/environment/149719
Bergen University: Opinion, 30/12/2020: Hydrogen in the EU: strategies for a low-carbon alternative https://www.uib.no/en/rg/resource/141601/hydrogen-eu-strategies-low-carbon-alternative
EUI: Florence School of Regulation, 01/02/2021: Hydrogen regulation under time pressure https://fsr.eui.eu/hydrogen-regulation-under-time-pressure/
Watson Farley & Williams: Insights Hub, 03/02/2021: The European Hydrogen Strategy https://www.wfw.com/articles/the-european-hydrogen-strategy/
EPRS: At a Glance, May 2021: EU strategies on hydrogen and energy system integration https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_ATA(2021)690599

EurActiv, 10/03/2020: EU announces ‘Clean Hydrogen Alliance’ for launch in the summer https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/eu-announces-clean-hydrogen-alliance-for-launch-in-the-summer/
EurActiv, 08/05/2020: Hydrogen will be ‘central’ to energy system integration, EU says https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/hydrogen-will-be-central-to-energy-system-integration-eu-says/
EurActiv, 19/05/2020: EU’s ‘Clean Hydrogen Alliance’ must focus on renewables, greens insist https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/eus-clean-hydrogen-alliance-must-focus-on-renewables-greens-insist/
Bloomberg, 27/05/2020: Hydrogen Primed For Key Role in World’s Greenest Stimulus Plan https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-26/hydrogen-primed-for-key-role-in-world-s-greenest-stimulus-plan
Reuters, 15/06/2020: Six EU countries lead push for clean hydrogen support https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN23M18G
EurActiv, 17/06/2020: The EU is dreaming big on hydrogen, but much infrastructure work remains https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/the-eu-is-dreaming-big-on-hydrogen-but-much-infrastructure-work-remains/
EurActiv, 25/06/2020: Industry alliance rebels against ‘all-renewable’ hydrogen https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/industry-alliance-rebels-against-all-renewable-hydrogen/
RFI News, 08/07/2020: EU presents clean hydrogen plan that sets no limit to reliance on fossil fuels https://www.rfi.fr/en/europe/20200708-eu-presents-clean-hydrogen-plan-that-sets-no-limit-to-reliance-on-fossil-fuels-carbon-neutral-europe
EurActiv, 08/07/2020: EU Commission charts path towards 100% renewable hydrogen https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/eu-commission-charts-path-towards-100-renewable-hydrogen/
EurActiv, 23/03/2021: Lawmakers support ‘low-carbon’ hydrogen, stay mute on nuclear https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/lawmakers-support-low-carbon-hydrogen-stay-mute-on-nuclear/

European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Own-Initiative on A European Strategy for Hydrogen (2020/2242(INI)) https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?lang=en&reference=2020/2242(INI)
European Commission: Have Your Say, May-June 2020: Clean energy – an EU hydrogen strategy https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12407-A-EU-hydrogen-strategy
European Commission: Press Release, 08/07/2020: Powering a climate-neutral economy: Commission sets out plans for the energy system of the future and clean hydrogen https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1259
European Commission: Questions and answers: A Hydrogen Strategy for a climate neutral Europe (8 July 2020) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_20_1257
European Commission: Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans' and Commissioner Kadri Simson's press remarks on the energy sector integration and hydrogen strategies (8 July 2020) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/speech_20_1310
European Commission: Opening speech by Commissioner Thierry Breton at launch of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance (8 July 2020) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/speech_20_1314
EPP Group: Newsroom, 18/03/2021: Low-carbon hydrogen necessary for climate goals https://www.eppgroup.eu/newsroom/news/low-carbon-hydrogen-necessary-for-climate-goals

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