EIT InnoEnergy, a European hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainable energy, is launching the European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center (EGHAC), as part of an effort to develop an annual €100 billion green hydrogen economy by 2025. The initiative is supported by Breakthrough Energy, a network founded by Bill Gates, and some other tech and business leaders.
The Dutch organisation believes green hydrogen, as a proven low emissions power source, should become a central piece of the EU’s climate neutral economy and would lessen the continent’s dependence on over €320 billion of fossil fuel imports each year.
“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,” explains Jacob Ruiter, member of EIT InnoEnergy Executive Board.
EGHAC promises to accelerate green hydrogen production at gigawatt scale, as a main priority is to make it cheaper so that industries are lured away from carbon-emitting technologies. Namely those industries are industrial applications (i.e. steel, cement, chemicals), heavy transport (i.e. maritime and heavy duty) and fertilisers.
In addition to replacing hydrocarbons, green hydrogen can help the energy transition through its ability to store energy, enabling the expansion of renewable sources like wind and solar energy.
From there, the new center hopes to help create a whole green hydrogen value chain, normalise its use and increase its market uptake. According to a press release, the envisioned economy could create half a million direct and indirect jobs across the value chain.
Ann Mettler, senior director at Breakthrough Energy, commented: “The European Union’s Green Deal is the perfect launching pad for the European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center. Building on the political momentum, the Center 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.