The Chairman of the Iberdrola Group, Ignacio Galán, calls on Brussels to accelerate investment in green hydrogen and has defended the potential of renewable hydrogen to achieve the objective of reducing imported fossil fuels, as set out in the REPowerEU plan.
He participated in a meeting, organised by the Renewable Hydrogen Coalition (RHC), which brought together representatives from leading companies in the sector, EU decision-makers and hundreds of stakeholders to discuss the contribution of green hydrogen to decarbonisation and energy independence.
The European Commission estimates that an acceleration of green hydrogen and its derivatives would reduce the EU’s dependence on natural gas from Russia by approximately 27 bcm (27 billion cubic metres).
Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson stressed that “we need to diversify away from Russian fossil fuels. This means accelerating the ecological transition. Renewable hydrogen plays a crucial role in decarbonising industry and transport that is difficult to electrify. We need it for the planet, for our independence and for energy supply security. With RepowerEU, we plan to deploy this solution faster, taking our EU Green Deal ambitions to the next level and giving us the tools to make it happen.”
Adopt a definition of renewable hydrogen. The coalition welcomes the draft legislation proposed by the EC and recognises the important efforts made to better reflect the reality of projects: lengthy and complex authorisation procedures slow down the deployment of renewables that Europe needs to meet its energy climate targets. To meet REPowerEU’s ambition, renewable hydrogen supply must be allowed to increase, and its business cases must be secured.
Speed up permitting for renewables and also for renewable hydrogen installations in the interest of the public and industry. Expedited permitting is crucial to building the additional capacity needed for renewable hydrogen production.
Adopt the most ambitious binding targets for boosting renewable hydrogen and fuel derivatives in hard-to-electrify industry and transport, as proposed by the European Commission. For RHC, binding targets are essential to send a strong signal to the market, unlock existing demand and drive major investments in the value chain.
Ensure fast and simplified access to support and financing instruments. Economic actors still face high costs for switching to clean technologies. According to the Renewable Hydrogen Coalition, carbon contracts for the difference could have a major impact if properly designed and quickly accessible, accelerating uptake by industrial actors.
The Renewable Hydrogen Coalition believes that the EU is at the right time to take decisive action to reach the European target of a 2,000-fold increase in current green hydrogen production capacity.
The group plans to invest €3 billion in green hydrogen projects over the next few years to develop 400,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year.