European sustainable energy accelerator EIT InnoEnergy has announced an initiative to accelerate green hydrogen production at “gigawatt scale” to deliver large-scale industrial projects.
European sustainable energy accelerator EIT InnoEnergy has announced an initiative to accelerate green hydrogen production at “gigawatt scale” to deliver large-scale industrial projects across Europe and help speed climate neutrality.
The European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Centre (EGHAC) aspires to support the development of an annual €100bn green hydrogen economy by 2025 that could create 500,000 direct and indirect jobs across the green hydrogen value chain.
The initiative is supported by Breakthrough Energy, a network of entities founded by Bill Gates and major tech and business leaders to speed the transition to a clean energy future.
Green hydrogen is a key driver in transforming Europe’s energy sector and a catalyst for decarbonising its sizable industry, according to EIT InnoEnergy. As a proven low emissions power source, green hydrogen is well-positioned to become a central piece of the EU’s climate neutral economy – helping the continent secure strategic autonomy by lessening its dependence on over €320bn of fossil fuel imports each year.
To meet this potential, Europe needs to create a world-class investment environment to accelerate innovation and production capacity.
The energy accelerator said EGHAC will strive to be a “key actor” in Europe’s green hydrogen ecosystem and will work collaboratively alongside existing efforts in this space to achieve Europe’s vision.
“The commercialisation of green hydrogen is absolutely vital if Europe is to achieve its ambitious goals of becoming the first net-zero continent by 2050. Quite simply, there is no better way of decarbonising heavy industry and heavy transport, and it can also play a significant role in supporting grid flexibility through storage,” said Jacob Ruiter, member of EIT InnoEnergy executive board.
He continued: “We are delighted to be spearheading this initiative with the support of Breakthrough Energy and look forward to working in earnest to reduce the cost of green hydrogen, stimulate market uptake and build a strong European green hydrogen value chain, as quickly as possible. Speed is of the essence.”
Among the most urgent near-term priorities is to close the price gap between carbon emitting technologies and green hydrogen, which would drive substantial displacement of hydrocarbons in energy intensive industrial applications (steel, cement, chemicals), heavy transport (maritime and heavy duty) and fertilisers.
“It will create a pipeline of pioneering large-scale projects, launch a new generation of public-private partnerships and accelerate the speed of delivery from mega- to gigawatts”
Green hydrogen can also be used to store energy, which makes it a key enabler for the expansion of volatile renewable sources, in particular wind and solar energy.
The EGHAC will manage several workstreams, including:
According to EIT InnoEnergy, the key to its success is operating at the centre of the energy transition, bringing innovators, entrepreneurs, investors and other key stakeholders around the table to deliver a very ambitious target.
“The European Union’s Green Deal is the perfect launching pad for the European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Centre. Building on the political momentum, the centre will use green hydrogen as a driver for the deep decarbonisation of European industry,” added Ann Mettler, senior director at Breakthrough Energy.
“Against this backdrop, it will create a pipeline of pioneering large-scale projects, launch a new generation of public-private partnerships and accelerate the speed of delivery from mega- to gigawatts.”
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