Europe’s strategy prioritizes the development of green hydrogen as it is the most compatible form of hydrogen with the EU’s long-term climate neutrality and zero pollution goal. However, due to the current costs of the associated technologies, it is deemed necessary to implement other forms of low-carbon hydrogen technologies, such as blue hydrogen, to reduce the emissions of the industry currently dominated by grey hydrogen (European Commission, 2020).
An overview of some hydrogen strategies is presented below.
European Hydrogen Strategy
Taking an overview of Europe’s hydrogen strategy, the goals for hydrogen production are spread across various timelines. For 2024, Europe aims to install at least 6 GW of green hydrogen electrolyzers in the EU and to produce up to 1 million tonnes of green hydrogen. From 2025 to 2030, Europe then aims to install at least 40 GW of green hydrogen electrolyzers by 2030 and to produce up to 10 million tonnes of green hydrogen in the EU.
From 2030 onwards and towards 2050, green hydrogen technologies should reach maturity and be deployed at a large scale. Throughout the implementation of hydrogen production facilities, Europe intends to make use of its well-established natural gas grid by repurposing sections of it for transportation (European Commission, 2020).
EU Hydrogen strategy: here
Read more about Hydrogen:
African Hydrogen Strategy
Currently, only Morocco, South Africa, and Nigeria have governmental plans for the implementation of hydrogen. In June 2020, Morocco entered a partnership with Germany to develop the first green hydrogen plant in Africa which will be coupled with photovoltaic and wind power with the intention to reduce CO2 emissions by 100,000 tonnes.
The commercial operation date is scheduled between 2024 and 2025. On the other hand, South Africa is working to expand local knowledge and innovation of hydrogen technology to boost their economy through job creation and increased wealth. While Nigeria has also expressed interest in the growth of green hydrogen to supplement its energy demand (Clifford Chance, 2020)
2X40 GW Green Hydrogen Initiative
The “2X40 GW Green Hydrogen Initiative” is a concept derived by Wijk & Chatzimarkakis (2020) and the EU green deal in which two sets of 40GW electrolyzer capacities are aimed to be realized by 2030. The purpose of this is to aid the movement towards climate neutrality by 2050 while also creating a world-class leading electrolyzer industry within Europe.
The first 40 GW capacity is shared among the members of the European Union while the other is shared across neighboring countries, namely Ukraine and North Africa.
The former capacity is split into a captive market of 6 GW, consisting of chemicals, refineries, material production, and hydrogen refueling stations, and a hydrogen market of 34 GW, taking into account a centralized scale for hydrogen plants and a decentralized scale of 10-100 MW. Whereas the latter capacity is split into a domestic market of 7.5 GW for the usage of the countries producing the hydrogen, and an export market of 32.5 GW.
This export market is expected to be made up of 24.5 GW supplied by North Africa and the remaining 8 GW supplied by Ukraine. An overview of the initiative can be seen in the Figure below.
This initiative also highlights the potential partnership between the EU and neighboring countries that can prove highly beneficial.
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