Renewable hydrogen key to Europe’s decarbonisation, say industry experts

Renewable hydrogen key to Europe’s decarbonisation, say industry experts

Ten industry leaders and solar and wind associations have launched “Choose Renewable Hydrogen”, a joint initiative highlighting the crucial role of renewables to ensure a sound economic recovery, aligned with the European Green Deal.

Signatories called on the European Commission to make the right choices for Europe’s upcoming energy system integration and hydrogen strategy, harvesting the full potential of renewable electricity to fully decarbonise Europe’s power system.

The initiative urges that, amidst the COVID-19 health crisis and its economic implications, Europe prioritises the most efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective pathways to decarbonise its economy.

Direct electrification will be the primary means for decarbonising heating and road transport, but there are other, hard-to-abate sectors – such as, chemicals, heavy industry, long-haul road transport, aviation, and shipping – where direct electrification is insufficient. Here, renewable hydrogen can play a key role as the most cost-effective and sustainable solution for full decarbonisation.

Hydrogen produced in Europe via electrolysers powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity, such as solar and wind, has zero greenhouse gas emissions, increases the EU’s energy security, and, when produced by grid-connected renewables, presents an optimised form of sector coupling.

Aurelie Beauvais, interim CEO of SolarPower Europe, said: “Renewable energy technologies are ready to form the backbone of the European Green Deal. They are cost-competitive, highly scalable and can provide fully sustainable hydrogen solutions to achieve the last mile of Europe’s decarbonisation.

The upcoming “Energy system integration strategy” and “Clean hydrogen strategy” will be pivotal to enshrining the right decarbonisation pathways for Europe: they must build on the immense potential of renewable electricity, which will enhance sectoral integration, create millions of jobs and provide the sustainable hydrogen needed to modernise and decarbonise European industries.”

Giles Dickson, CEO WindEurope, said: “Renewables are nearly half our electricity now. But electricity is only a quarter of our total energy consumption. The rest is mostly fossil and less efficient than electricity. We need to electrify as much of this other energy as we can. And wind will be key – the EU Commission and IEA say it will be half of Europe’s electricity by 2050. But we cannot electrify everything. Some industrial processes and heavy transport will have to run on gas. And renewable hydrogen is the best gas. It is completely clean. It will be affordable with renewables being so cheap now. And it will be energy made in Europe creating jobs and growth in Europe. Hydrogen in the Recovery Package? Yes, but make it renewable hydrogen!”

The “Choose Renewable Hydrogen” initiative currently includes 10 companies and associations: Akuo Energy, BayWa r.e., EDP, Enel, Iberdrola, MHI Vestas, SolarPower Europe, Ørsted, Vestas and WindEurope. Learn more about the campaign at www.choose-renewable-hydrogen.eu and join the conversation on social media using #RenewableHydrogen.