EU hydrogen strategy critisised for relying on fossil fuels

EU hydrogen strategy still relies on fossil fuel gases, says campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E). 

In an announcement made last week, (July 8), the European Commission published their hydrogen strategy, which outlined that planes and long-distance ships should lead the way for the development of hydrogen. 

T&E have expressed support for this strategy with hydrogen being essential to decarbonise larger forms of transport, however, they have warned that the strategy still focuses on fossil-fuel-based hydrogen which is offering a lifeline to the fossil fuel industry. 

In the strategy, the commission talks about the promotion of renewable hydrogen, but it also promotes ‘blue hydrogen’ which is produced from fossil fuel gas. 

Hydrogen can be produced from a variety of resources, from nuclear power, biomass, and renewable power like solar and wind. However, the most common methods for producing hydrogen fuel is natural gas reforming.

T&E has said that the Commission must set more stringent 2030 CO2 standards to drive the uptake of renewable hydrogen and battery-electric trucks and buses.

EU Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson said: ‘With 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from energy, we need a paradigm shift to reach our 2030 and 2050 targets.

‘The EU’s energy system has to become better integrated, more flexible and able to accommodate the cleanest and most cost-effective solutions.

‘Hydrogen will play a key role in this, as falling renewable energy prices and continuous innovation make it a viable solution for a climate-neutral economy.’

However, William Todts, executive director at T&E, said: ‘Hydrogen is only as clean as the energy used to produce it, and relying on fossil gases just delays the decarbonisation of the economy which the EU has committed to.

‘The EU needs to create laws that force airlines and shipping companies to start using zero-emission fuels including hydrogen, ammonia and synthetic kerosene.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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