Hydrogen will play an important role in reaching the EU’s target of net zero emissions by 2050. Hydrogen’s role in the decarbonisation of industrial processes and heavy-duty transportation is for instance described in the Fit for 55 proposals, released during the spring of 2021. The proposal suggested a target of 40 GW electrolysis capacity by 2030 compared to a negligible amount today.
However, the events over the past six months have led to an increased interest in a more rapid phasing out of Russian gas from the European energy system. REPowerEU, published this spring, suggests setting a target of 10 million tonnes of domestic renewable hydrogen production and 10 million tonnes of imports by 2030, to replace natural gas, coal and oil in hard-to-decarbonise industries and transport sectors. According to ReCharge, this corresponds to 120-200 GW of domestic electrolysis capacity by 2030. Simultaneously, the Commission is publishing two Delegated Acts on the definition and production of renewable hydrogen to ensure that production leads to net decarbonisation. Thus, the electrolysis capacity target is more than tripled compared to the Fit for 55-target at the same time as the criteria for defining green hydrogen as additional and renewable have become stricter.
In relation to the latest edition of the THEMA Technology Outlook and Power Market Outlook, we have updated our database of announced hydrogen projects in Europe. The database covers most countries in Europe and includes an overview of projects in all parts of the value chain for hydrogen, from production – through both electrolysis and blue hydrogen – storage, transportation, and demand. Projects in all development stages are included as well, from announced projects that are yet to be funded, to projects that are under construction or even already in operation.
As can be seen in the figure, announced projects for hydrogen production via electrolysis said to be commissioned by 2030 currently amounts to 43 GW. This indicates that Europa has a long way to reach 10 million tonnes of domestic hydrogen production. Among the announced projects are 37 percent of the announced capacity is to be commissioned in Germany and the Netherlands. It is, however, important to note that most of the projects are announced projects that lack a final investment decision. Thus, there is a considerable uncertainty regarding how many of the announced projects that will be realised.
THEMA’s Technology Outlook report discusses what it takes to reach the production target. For instance, the establishment of financial support mechanisms both nationally and on an EU level is a perquisite to meet the target. The EU commission has over the past few years approved several support initiatives, for instance Clean Hydrogen Partnership and H2Global. The latter is a German support mechanism which aims to support a rapid marked ramp up of green hydrogen by offering 10-year Contracts for Difference (CfDs) through a double auction towards both consumers and producers of green hydrogen. Furthermore, several countries have launched their own national hydrogen strategies and associated national support schemes to reach their targets.
THEMA follows the development of hydrogen infrastructure closely and updates the database continuously. Contact us for more information on hydrogen and the role of hydrogen in the future energy system.