EU initiative seeks €60bn investment in hydrogen projects

Article by Adam Duckett

THE EU has unveiled a new multi-billion-euro initiative to support the development of hydrogen projects throughout Europe to decarbonise industry and transport.

On 9 October, a conference attended by more than 450 stakeholders from across Europe launched work on a so-called Important Project of Common European Interests. This provides EU support and funding for public and private partners to organise large-scale projects that meet EU goals; in this case for climate targets.

Projects presented during the event seek investment exceeding €60bn (US$66.5bn) over the next 5-10 years and once complete are estimated to save 35m t/y of CO2, said Hydrogen Europe, a trade group that helped organise the conference. They range from efforts to produce hydrogen at scale, including through electrolysis; transporting hydrogen by pipe, ship and rail; and using hydrogen to decarbonise industry, energy, transport and housing.

Among the 11 projects looking for support is the €13.5bn Silver Frog project that is looking to build gigawatt-scale manufacturing for solar PV and electrolysis. The aim is to produce, store and pipe hydrogen across Europe to help decarbonise heavy industry including steel production and refining.

There is also the Hybrit project that seeks to decarbonise steel production by reducing iron with hydrogen rather than using fossil fuels which produce CO2.

“The IPCEI projects presented at the conference showed in an impressive way that hydrogen technologies are ready today for deployment,” said Christian Weinberger, Senior Adviser on Advanced Industrial Technologies and Hydrogen Coordinator at the European Commission. “No need to wait another ten years to reap the benefits for climate action.”

The next stage of the initiative is a meeting scheduled for 18 November that will match up the project partners with interested industrial representatives.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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