Specifically, the European Commission has also launched the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance - with industry leaders, civil society, national and regional ministers and the European Investment Bank – which will create an ‘investment pipeline’ to scale up production and support demand for clean hydrogen.

The priority is to develop renewable hydrogen, produced using mainly wind and solar energy. However, in the short and medium term other forms of low-carbon hydrogen are needed to rapidly reduce emissions and support the development of a viable market. This gradual transition will require a phased approach:

  • From 2020 to 2024, the EU will support the installation of at least 6 gigawatts of renewable hydrogen electrolysers in the EU, and the production of up to one million tonnes of renewable hydrogen.
  • From 2025 to 2030, hydrogen needs to become an intrinsic part of an integrated energy system, with at least 40 gigawatts of renewable hydrogen electrolysers and the production of up to ten million tonnes of renewable hydrogen in the EU.
  • From 2030 to 2050, renewable hydrogen technologies should reach maturity and be deployed at large scale across all hard-to-decarbonise sectors.

Following this move, the Commission will introduce common standards, terminology and certification, based on life-cycle carbon emissions, anchored in existing climate and energy legislation, and in line with the EU taxonomy for sustainable investments.

They will also propose policy and regulatory measures to create investor certainty, facilitate the uptake of hydrogen, promote the necessary infrastructure and logistical networks, adapt infrastructure planning tools, and support investments, in particular through the Next Generation EU recovery plan.

Executive Vice-President for the Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, commented that

The strategies adopted today will bolster the European Green Deal and the green recovery, and put us firmly on the path of decarbonising our economy by 2050. The new hydrogen economy can be a growth engine to help overcome the economic damage caused by COVID-19.