Hydrogen Europe welcomes the European Commission’s forthcoming Sustainable and Smart Mobility strategy that will be released on 9 December.
This strategy will be the transport sector’s roadmap for achieving the Green Deal objectives of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport by 90% by 2050.
Hydrogen will play an essential role in all transport applications, especially in sectors that cannot be easily electrified, such as heavy-duty, air and maritime transport, and looking into sectors where hydrogen technologies are fully deployed such as buses or passengers cars used in captive fleets.
An overarching ecosystem approach is essential, starting with hydrogen hubs or valleys to boost hydrogen mobility by leveraging economies of scale in strategic locations such as ports and airports. The transport sector will require large amounts of clean hydrogen and act as an enabler of a clean hydrogen ecosystem, as well as a sector in which European industrial competitiveness can be kept and developed.
Hydrogen Europe stresses that while there are EU regulations that support the decarbonisation of the transport sector, they can be streamlined and made more effective. The transitional role of hydrogen-based fuels should be considered. In the maritime and aviation sectors, hydrogen-based fuels such as synthetic kerosene for aviation and ammonia for maritime transport will play a key role.
Strong cross-sectoral policies and financial measures are needed to achieve sound policy ambitions to reach the objectives of the Green Deal. The document provides a series of policy recommendations covering the different modes of transport and following an ecosystem approach.
Four dimensions must be addressed in parallel to ensure a smooth and complete transition to decarbonised mobility:
1) The supply of hydrogen-powered vehicles (road transport, off-road vehicles, rail, aviation, and maritime transport)
2) Hydrogen infrastructure (hydrogen distribution and hydrogen refuelling stations)
3) The demand for these vehicles
4) The supply of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen as a fuel
Investment in the use of clean hydrogen as a fuel is a crucial driver to ensure the competitiveness of clean hydrogen in gaseous or liquid form to decarbonise the mobility sector. EU standards and regulations are required to support the use of clean hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels, including an ambitious review of the Renewable Energy Directive.
Lastly, strong coordination of financial instruments at European, national, and regional level will be necessary to make the best use of available resources. The European Clean Hydrogen Alliance will play an essential role in bringing together the entire value chain to realise ambitious projects that will be implemented notably through the Important Projects of Common European Interests (IPCEI).
With this document, Hydrogen Europe reiterates its continued efforts, in collaboration with all stakeholders, to achieve the objectives outlined in the European Green Deal.
Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Secretary-General of Hydrogen Europe, said, “Our position paper is out! With this comprehensive document, we are providing our main requests and contributions to achieve a carbon-neutral transport sector. We very much hope that the pivotal role of hydrogen will be recognised in the strategy, as mentioned by Commissioner Vălean at the launch event of the FCH truck study last week”.
Hydrogen Europe is the leading European Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association which promotes clean and low hydrogen carbon as the enabler of a zero emission society. It currently represents more than 190 industry companies 82 research organizations as well as 25 National Associations. Its member companies are of all sizes and represent the entire hydrogen value chain, from production to transport, distribution and final end-use of hydrogen. The association partners with the European Commission in the innovation program Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).