Plans of the EU Commission: growth engine for hydrogen

In the ambitious climate plans the European Commission has played hydrogen no role. The time-consuming and expensive conversion of other forms of energy in hydr

Plans of the EU Commission: growth engine for hydrogen

In the ambitious climate plans the European Commission has played hydrogen no role. The time-consuming and expensive conversion of other forms of energy in hydrogen seemed to be the Brussels climate politicians anything other than the Royal road to the goal of a climate-neutral Europe in 2050. Rather they rely on a further electrification of the economy, in order to reduce the CO2 emissions with "green power" to Zero. Now, however, the water arrived to cover the material in the Commission. "For half a year on the topic of links POPs up, right and in the middle," says the climate protection competent Vice-President of the Commission Frans Timmermans in an interview with the F. A. Z. With their new on Wednesday presented the hydrogen strategy will the Commission ensure that the EU uses the energy sources only makes sense, but it can also be the engine of growth.

Hendrik Kafsack

economic correspondent in Brussels.

F. A. Z. Twitter

The change in strategy for a variety of reasons. For one, there was political pressure from several EU States such as Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France or Portugal. They had called on the EU Commission, a roadmap for the Development of hydrogen present. On the other, has changed the economic framework. "The production of renewable energy, especially wind energy on the high seas, is becoming cheaper and cheaper and at the same time, in spite of the Corona-crisis high CO2 prices, especially coal, make it unprofitable," says Timmermans. Plays a role also, that the controversial separation and storage of CO2 (CCS) in the view of the Dutchman is again an Option. "We need in the transition phase," says Timmermans. Hydrogen, which is not "green", that is to say from renewable energy, was made, had no future. In the first Phase, but the substance will lead to blue water, the CO2 is cleaved off and stored, we will not be over.

Up to 2024, however, should be after the presentation of the Commission's electrolysis capacity of 6 gigawatts in the EU, installed to up to a Million tonnes of "green hydrogen" in the year of manufacture. By 2030 it will be 40 GW and up to 10 million tons. The 5 gigawatts that have spent in Germany recently, in its hydrogen strategy as a target for 2030, fit perfectly, says Timmermans. Today in the EU is around 10 million tons of hydrogen. 96 percent of which are purely of fossil origin or "grey" is hydrogen. A prerequisite for the Development of capacities is that the costs are reduced. Because so far, the manufacturing costs of up to 5,5 Euro per kilogram for "green" hydrogen and 2 Euro for the "blue" hydrogen are simply not competitive. The decisive factor was whether the cost of the electrolysis, which had fallen in the past ten years by 60 per cent, were falling further, says Timmermans. Then the green "hydrogen could be" in regions with favorable conditions for the production of renewable energy by 2030, a competitive and then in the large-scale otherwise difficult to dekarbonisie-generating sectors will be used.

Billion dollar investment is needed

The necessary investments are enormous. Alone for the required electrolysis capacity must be provided in accordance with the Commission's estimate for 2030 of between 24 and 42 billion euros. Added 220 to 340 billion euros, to ensure the necessary supply and connection to Wind and solar power to produce. 65 billion euros to be used for storage and transportation. The money should come, if possible, from private investors, says Timmermans. Therefore, close cooperation with industry in the context of the also on Wednesday, founded the "Alliance for clean hydrogen" is so important. This is to identify concrete projects for the construction of Gigawatt factories, which can then be used by the EU or the States financially supported. The Commission is considering a variety of options. This includes state-guaranteed prices ("Carbon Contracts for Difference is part of"). Also, money from the recovery package, the Commission stand ready, says Timmermans. From all of which he hoped would also have a positive economic effect. Million in 2050 may be related directly or indirectly to the use of "green" hydrogen.

Updated Date: 08 July 2020, 11:19

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