‘A game changer for Europe’: EC reveals plan for €3 billion hydrogen bank

In a move to tackle the energy crisis and climate change, President of the European Commission (EC) Ursula von Der Leyen has announced the creation of a new European Hydrogen Bank aimed at bridging the investment gap and connecting future supply and demand.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. Source: European Commission

The announcement was made during von der Leyen’s State of the Union address on 14 September 2022 as one of the Commission’s initiatives to invest further in renewable energy and hydrogen in particular.

The new European Hydrogen Bank will guarantee the purchase of hydrogen, notably by using resources from the Innovation Fund, through an investment of €3 billion to help build the future market for hydrogen.

“And hydrogen can be a game changer for Europe. We need to move our hydrogen economy from niche to scale. With REPowerEU, we have doubled our 2030 target to produce ten million tons of renewable hydrogen in the EU, each year.

“To achieve this, we must create a market maker for hydrogen, in order to bridge the investment gap and connect future supply and demand. That is why I can today announce that we will create a new European Hydrogen Bank.

“It will help guarantee the purchase of hydrogen, notably by using resources from the Innovation Fund. It will be able to invest 3 billion euros to help building the future market for hydrogen. This is how we power the economy of the future. This is the European Green Deal”, the President of the EC said in her speech.

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As per the REPowerEU communication, the European Union will strive to achieve a supply of twenty million tons (20Mt) of green hydrogen by 2030 – 10Mt produced and 10Mt imported – that are echoed by the new binding targets for different sectors:

  • renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO) at least 5.7% of all fuels by 2030, including 1.2% in the hard-to-abate maritime sector;
  • 50% of the industry to transition to green hydrogen by 2030 (70% by 2035).

Hydrogen Europe, one of the three participants of the European Joint Undertaking on Hydrogen – a partnership working to facilitate the market introduction of clean hydrogen technologies in Europe – has welcomed the EC’s move as “another historical day for the hydrogen sector in Europe and globally“.

“These binding targets on renewable hydrogen, and the creation of a simpler framework, are strong signals from the EU institutions to ensure the scale up of a hydrogen economy and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. We need to bring production and demand into the right balance, and the new European Hydrogen Bank is the right instrument under which to do so“, said Hydrogen Europe’s CEO Jorgo Chatzimarkakis.

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