Green Economy: Hydrogen

One German firm’s hydrogen technology could bridge the gap in the quest for clean energy. For decades now, hydrogen has been claimed as a fuel of the future. But hydrogen has never really lived up to its enormous promise despite its huge potential to decarbonise the economy.

The German firm Hydrogenious, however, believes hydrogen’s time has come and says its tech can safely store, handle and transport hydrogen at low cost. These are all important factors for so-called ‘green’ hydrogen – hydrogen made without fossil fuels. This type of production provides the means to link renewable energy production sites, like wind farms and solar power plants, to areas where the hydrogen is most needed.

Hydrogenious’ technology allows for the safe and efficient storage of hydrogen in a liquid carrier which is already fully compatible with today’s infrastructure for liquid fuels. Their big target and vision is to really decarbonise Europe, decarbonise mobility, decarbonise industry and therefore really contribute their efforts against climate change.

‘Green’ Hydrogen

Currently, most of the hydrogen produced and consumed comes from fossil fuels. However there is an alternative and it can also be made with renewable electricity by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using a process called electrolysis.

The EU has made it a top priority to create 13 times more clean hydrogen by 2024. By 2030, the goal is even larger with a volume of 130 times more – or 10 million tonnes. To assist with this goal, the European Commission has set up the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance. The ECHA is open to all public and private players. They are looking to mobilise investment by bringing government and industry together. Two companies are already members: Hydrogenious and SolarPower Europe.

Clean hydrogen is critical to decarbonising sectors such as aviation or shipping. Today, Europe’s hydrogen production is based largely on fossil fuels and the aim is to accelerate the production of hydrogen and ensure that this hydrogen is fully sustainable.

There is potential here to build a robust industrial eco-system that will make Europe a world leader in clean hydrogen solutions and Europe’s role is hugely important. The funding mechanisms that are being put in place now by the European Union are exactly what is needed in order to make green hydrogen become a reality as this would be next to impossible to accomplish on a national level.

At the moment, Europe’s clean hydrogen capacity is not anywhere near where it needs to be if these lofty ambitions are to be met, but those working towards this goal insist it can be done.

The main objective of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance is to gather leading European businesses, from market leaders to start-ups across the entire value chain, as well as policy-makers from member states. This should kick-start the hydrogen economy. There is absolute potential to build a robust industrial eco-system that will make Europe a world leader in clean hydrogen solutions.

Useful Facts

Carbon dioxide is not emitted when hydrogen is used. Therefore, hydrogen power offers a solution to decarbonise industrial processes and economic sectors where reducing carbon emissions is urgent.

The European Clean Hydrogen Alliance was announced in March 2020 as part of the new industrial strategy for Europe. It is part of the efforts taking place to accelerate the decarbonisation of industry and maintain industrial leadership in Europe.

The ECHA will identify and build up a pipeline of viable investment projects along the hydrogen value chain. The main goal is to continue shifting away from fossil fuels.

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