Hydrogen is widely viewed as the energy resource of the future - both in German and European politics. Its growing importance is due, among other things, to the EU Member States' goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and the announcement of the Green Deal by the new European Commission. Achieving this goal will require substantial efforts across all sectors of the economy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly.
Green hydrogen for climate-neutral industry
As a chemical energy carrier, hydrogen facilitates the use of renewable energies in applications where direct electrification is difficult (e.g. aviation). It is also an important raw material for industrial applications, for example in the production of fertilizer or, in the future, steel. Until now, the hydrogen used in industrial applications has primarily been obtained from natural gas, resulting in CO2 emissions. In future, however, hydrogen is to be produced by electrolysis of water using electricity from renewable sources. Following the announcement of the European Green Deal, diverse EU strategies, regulations and directives relevant to energy and climate policy are coming under scrutiny. In addition, new initiatives such as the Strategy for Smart Sector Integration will chart a course for further progress. The development of the European hydrogen economy is directly or indirectly addressed in numerous political projects relevant to energy and climate policy but also to industrial policy.
IASS supports European Committee of the Regions
The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) represents the interests of local and regional structures (e.g. countries, regions, municipalities). It has decided to contribute an own-initiative opinion to the political debate on the development of the European hydrogen economy. The opinion will highlight the important role of local and regional authorities. The IASS will provide technical support to the rapporteur Birgit Honé (Minister for Federal and European Affairs and Regional Development, Lower Saxony) as the opinion is prepared and will contribute to the consultations of the Commission for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy and in the CoR plenary session. Once the Committee's internal deliberations are completed, the CoR will forward its own-initiative opinion to the other EU institutions and publish it on its website. The opinion will lay out the CoR's position with regard to the political prerequisites for the development of a European hydrogen economy and make recommendations and requests to the European Commission and the Member States.