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Hydrogen is a key pillar of Green Deal Industrial Plan

Date

02 Feb 2023

Sections

Energy

On Wednesday 1st of February, in Brussels, European Commission President, Ursula Von der Leyen, and the Executive Vice President for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, announced the launch of an ambitious Green Deal Industrial Plan, and a Member States consultation on the revision of the state aid framework for net-zero technologies. Those with an interest in the hydrogen value chain will be encouraged to see that hydrogen is now unequivocally a strategic technology for reaching the EU’s net-zero target by 2050.

We welcome both the Net Zero Industry Act and the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRM) proposals. The former will establish concrete shared EU objectives for hydrogen technology by 2030 and speed up permitting processes which will be vital for meeting our targets. On the latter, while there are still challenges to be addressed, the CRM Act is important to Europe meeting its technology objectives.

The Temporary State Aid Crisis and Transition Framework is also headed in the right direction, providing direct support for renewable hydrogen production and storage, the use of renewable hydrogen in industry, and the production of electrolysers and related critical raw materials.

The Green Deal Industrial Plan will be structured around four pillars, all relevant for hydrogen technologies and their applications:

  1. A predictable and simplified regulatory environment, that will include a Net-Zero Industry Act, with targets for net-zero technologies by 2030, faster permitting processes alongside the already foreseen CRM Act.
  2. Faster access to funding, that will lead to an important revision of the Temporary Crisis Framework (TCF), with its extension until end of 2025, thus allowing renewable hydrogen to benefit from more open state aid rules. This pillar is complemented by the announcement of the first auctions for the Hydrogen Bank.
  3. Ensuring proper skills for the green transition, including upskilling and reskilling in the hydrogen sector.
  4. An ambitious trade agenda, which reflects the EU’s priorities for clean technologies in the international scene.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, in introducing these pillars, summarised the intention of the EU: “To grow, our net zero industries need a legislative framework. This has to be faster, and predictable […] We want this industry to stay here and prosper here. We listened to the industries; we need to match with US solutions, through state aid and tax breaks.”

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe, said: “We very much welcome President Ursula von der Leyen’s announcement, which reaffirms what she said in Davos confirming hydrogen as a key strategic technology in the energy transition. We hope this type of support will be extended to the entire hydrogen ecosystem.”

“We welcome the intention of the Commission, in reviewing the state aid framework, to act decisively in taking opportunities where they are identified to further support clean technologies,” he added.

For more information:

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Hydrogen Europe is the European association representing the interest of the hydrogen industry and its stakeholders and promoting hydrogen as an enabler of a zero-emission society. With more than 400+ members, including 25+ EU regions and 30+ national associations, we encompass the entire value chain of the European hydrogen and fuel cell ecosystem. Our vision is to propel global carbon neutrality by accelerating European hydrogen industry.

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