EIT InnoEnergy has launched the European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center (EGHAC) in order to help support the development of an annual €100 billion green hydrogen economy by 2025.
The initiative is supported by Breakthrough Energy, a network of entities founded by Bill Gates and the world’s top tech and business leaders to speed the transition to a clean energy future.
EGHAC will be working to create an alternative to the annual €320 billion fossil fuel import industry in Europe.
The new Centre argues that to offer a credible alternative to fossil fuels, Europe needs to create a world-class investment environment to accelerate innovation and production capacity for hydrogen.
Among the most urgent near-term priorities for EGHAC is to close the price gap between carbon emitting technologies and green hydrogen, which it says would drive substantial displacement of hydrocarbons in energy intensive industrial applications (i.e. steel, cement, chemicals), heavy transport (i.e. maritime and heavy duty) and fertilisers.
Green hydrogen can also be used to store energy, which makes it a key enabler for the expansion of volatile renewable sources, in particular wind and solar energy.
Jacob Ruiter, member of EIT InnoEnergy executive board, said: “The commercialisation of green hydrogen is absolutely vital if Europe is to achieve its ambitious goals of becoming the first net-zero continent by 2050.
“Quite simply, there is no better way of decarbonising heavy industry and heavy transport, and it can also play a significant role in supporting grid flexibility through storage.”
The EGHAC will manage several workstreams, including promotion and co-creation of industrial projects across the value chain, building connections with other industrial and energy value chains, acceleration of technology development, stimulation of market growth, societal acceptance and addressing the skills gaps.
Ann Mettler, senior director at Breakthrough Energy, adds: “The European Union’s Green Deal is the perfect launching pad for the European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Centre.
“Building on the political momentum, the Centre will use green hydrogen as a driver for the deep decarbonisation of European industry.
“Against this backdrop, it will create a pipeline of pioneering large-scale projects, launch a new generation of public-private partnerships and accelerate the speed of delivery from mega- to gigawatts.”