After a long wait, the European Commission has approved the first projects of IPCEI Hydrogen. With these Important Projects of Common European Interest, significant progress towards the establishment of a hydrogen economy is to be made. The associated special approval under EU state aid law means that much more funding can be allocated than would otherwise be permitted within Europe. Among the initial are four projects from Germany. More are to follow in the course of the year.
A sustainable hydrogen world requires not only a comprehensive expansion of infrastructures, but also a functioning market. With H2Cloud, the Managementberatung think utilities AG & Co. KG wants to position a platform for OTC trading (over-the-counter trading, also direct trading or telephone trading) of hydrogen products. Dr Peter Rügge, founder of H2Cloud and managing director of think utilities, explains the background and analyses the market environment.
Guest article by Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe
In January 2020, Hydrogen Europe’s Executive Board published a visionary paper outlining the path to ramp up a hydrogen economy with twice 40 GW of electrolysis capacity in Europe and the neighbourhood. At that time, it was not yet foreseeable what a ground-breaking character this position paper would have. Because only a few weeks later, a worldwide pandemic broke out that was to have a massive impact on the global economy and politics. Especially in the area of energy demand, a considerable decline was recorded, there were massive drops in the sectors of coal, crude oil and also natural gas. The only sector that developed positively – albeit at a low level – was the renewable energy sector. At that time, it was hardly possible to estimate how much the pandemic would affect further economic development. The crisis that has now occurred had the potential to unhinge the ambitious European Green Deal, the European response to climate change and the challenge of the Paris climate targets.
On AFID, EEG, IPCEI, RED II and the Green Deal
Leaders are in the hot seat. The German government is expected to fix it all – the Covid-19 crisis, the climate crisis, the energy crisis, and the auto industry crisis. Summit after summit after summit. We’re hearing an awful lot from the chancellor, ministers, business leaders and lobbyists these days. And comparably little from parliament, where the laws are actually passed. But which political topics or summits are truly relevant to hydrogen and fuel cell technology?
Thinking sustainably about energy and agriculture
What a year we’ve had. Rarely has so much, in such a short time, changed in the energy sector, particularly for the hydrogen industry. For starters, we have witnessed the arrival of a national hydrogen strategy, council and office, a European Green Deal, a European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, RED II and the IPCEI Hydrogen, as well as revisions to the German EEG.
Like other industries, the energy sector has seen events being postponed or cancelled, making it difficult if not impossible to unveil new products, attend discussion panels and meet new people. But the partial lockdown has also opened up some new opportunities. Thanks to greater digitalization, online product presentations can still reach a global audience, face-to-face meetings are being replaced with webinars and video conferences, and phone calls have become an even more important means to stay in touch. Additionally, fewer commutes and business trips leave more time for other things and help reduce environmentally harmful emissions.