CEOs, policy leaders ready to accelerate action on hydrogen deployment by 2030

11th June 2024 By: Sabrina Jardim - Creamer Media Online Writer

In a significant step towards accelerating public-private action on hydrogen, Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck and the European Commission executive VP for the European Green Deal Maroš Šefčovič, met with a global delegation of Hydrogen Council executives on June 11.

Leaders took stock of the sector’s continued progress, despite macroeconomic headwinds, with a 90% year-on-year increase in committed capital in hydrogen across the value chain globally.

The leaders also agreed that decisive, synchronised action by governments and industry was needed to support the next stage of successful hydrogen deployment.

In Europe, top priorities include full implementation of the enabling measures on the demand and midstream side and tackling the legislative complexity to advance more projects to the final investment decision stage.

“We are committed to the climate goals of Paris and are convinced that hydrogen and its derivatives will play a significant role in the decarbonisation of our industry, transport and energy sectors. Germany is moving forward with determination and concrete measures.

“I am pleased that the hydrogen market has moved significantly thanks to strong impulses from several governments around the globe and an emerging regulatory framework. To achieve our goals, we need to work together. International cooperation is key. This will not only help us to push competitiveness of hydrogen solutions that are sustainable and economical, but it will also increase global energy security,” said Habeck.

Šefčovič noted that Europe was the first region with a comprehensive regulatory framework aimed at incentivising the growth of the hydrogen ecosystem, providing legal certainty and predictability, which he said was a “key ingredient” to attracting the necessary investment.

“But we are not stopping there – we now need to unlock the full potential of hydrogen in Europe. Our Innovation Fund is already supporting 35 hydrogen projects to the tune of €2.3-billion.

“And, following a successful pilot, this autumn will see the second auction for hydrogen production under the European Hydrogen Bank to boost our domestic production capacities. And soon, we will launch a match-making mechanism to inject even more agility.

“We must stay laser-focused on accelerating the scale up of the hydrogen sector across the entire value chain, while preserving the overall competitiveness of European industry. I applaud Germany for taking ambitious steps in this direction,” he added.

Against the backdrop of European and global elections, industry representatives called for greater regulatory clarity and certainty on the demand-side and midstream incentives.

Representatives also called for streamlined access to funding and stacking of funding instruments; a technology-inclusive approach recognising hydrogen’s greenhouse-gas emissions reduction value; a level playing field for locally produced and imported hydrogen and its derivatives; and support for industry and mobility applications to catalyse the hydrogen market.

“We are excited to see Germany and the European Union Commission strengthening policy support for hydrogen at this critical time. Their commitment sends a strong signal to governments and industry around the world.

“Hydrogen has moved past vision-setting and announcements – it’s now part of the energy transition reality, as industry is successfully executing projects and delivering results towards net-zero,” expressed Hydrogen Council co-chairperson and Linde CEO Sanjiv Lamba.

“Time for action is now. Strong, sustained government support is key to continuing and further accelerating hydrogen roll-out across key markets. We remain fully committed to our shared goals and look forward to working with our government and investor partners to accelerate investments in Germany, in Europe, and globally,” added Hydrogen Council co-chairperson and Kawasaki Heavy Industries chairperson Yoshinori Kanehana.

The Hydrogen Council is a global CEO-led initiative committed to unlocking the sustainability potential of clean hydrogen, fostering business and technological innovation as drivers for sustainable growth, creating quality jobs and delivering social value.