More than 90 energy companies, equipment manufacturers and gas network operators have called on the European Commission to consider hydrogen blending into natural gas for parts of Europe that cannot yet afford a dedicated hydrogen network.
A coalition of industrialists and electricity companies have expressed concerns about a draft emission threshold below which hydrogen would be considered “green” under the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy.
Gas companies in Europe and America are looking at using the existing gas network to serve industrial “clusters” of hydrogen users in sectors like chemicals, cement and steelmaking, adopting a “phased approach” endorsed by the European Commission.
Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain have issued a joint letter calling on the European Union to clearly prioritise renewable energies under an EU-led project aiming to accelerate hydrogen deployment, research and infrastructure.
The lower carbon intensity of natural gas – which produces half the emissions of coal when burned in power plants – and the emergence of new technologies like hydrogen are setting gas apart from other fossil fuels in the clean energy transition.
Europe wants to install the euro as the reference currency for trading hydrogen, but a global market with harmonised standards needs to be put in place first in order to meet demand, the EU's energy commissioner said on Thursday (26 November).
While natural gas pipelines can be used to carry hydrogen, the cost of retrofitting infrastructure combined with end-user requirements at the local level, will determine whether blended or pure hydrogen is delivered to the final consumer, industry experts say.