When we compiled our list of currently available electrolyzers, we also asked manufacturers for their opinion on the market outlook of hydrogen technologies in Europe. Their assessment tended toward the positive; all ten businesses participating in the survey at least somewhat agreed that hydrogen technologies were developing at a satisfactory rate across the continent. They also expect a notable increase in demand for electrolyzers even before 2020.
However, optimism took a dive when the question came to EU policy on hydrogen. At least three of the ten businesses participating in the survey voiced their skepticism or even outright caution about current targets and methods. One point was electricity use, which is not referred to as storage in the context of electrolysis but as consumption in Germany and leads to a high tax burden.
All of them would wish for a better EU framework to support deployment on large markets, for example, as “green” hydrogen in refineries. One survey respondent suggested that it would be helpful to have the backing of the EC Legal Service. This could make it possible for member states to consider emissions at the start of the production chain when drafting national legislation. Another participant, who mainly favored the use of hydrogen in vehicles, had the wish that politicians would create incentives for operators of gas stations and vehicle owners. Direct distribution of renewable electricity from producers to operators of electrolyzers should be made possible as well.
In response to questions about financial support, most participants, in principle, favored better support of research and development. Considering that these are businesses operating on the market, it would be a surprise if they didn’t. However, since many of the manufacturers have, for the most part, passed the research stage, the priority is on incentives for real-life applications. Eight of the ten survey respondents would find it useful to expand renewable energy generation to produce more “green” hydrogen.
Author: Eva Augsten