Scaling up the EU's hydrogen sector by 2030 would cost around Eur430 billion ($480 billion), including around Eur145 billion of public support, trade body Hydrogen Europe said June 2.
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The European Commission has said investing in hydrogen will help the EU become climate neutral by 2050 and also help kick-start EU economies after the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.
"We are ready to invest massively into the use of hydrogen," Hydrogen Europe said in a letter to EU commissioners on behalf of the CEOs of 93 of its member companies.
These included Air Liquide, BP, Daimler, EDF, Enagas, Engie, Fluxys, Gasunie, GRTgaz, ITM Power, Ontras, Port of Rotterdam, Snam, Total, Uniper, Vattenfall and Verbund.
The CEOs support EC plans to launch a public-private Clean Hydrogen Alliance later in June intended to help kick-start domestic clean hydrogen production and use.
The alliance is to bring together governmental, institutional and industrial partners on similar lines to the European Battery Alliance set up in 2017.
Scaling up clean hydrogen production by 2030 will need an estimated Eur220 billion of investmnet, Hydrogen Europe said in a separate Green Hydrogen Investment and Support Report.
Of this some Eur160 billion would be for renewables, and some Eur95 billion would have to come from public grants or subsidies.
Hydrogen infrastructure and storage would need some Eur120 billion of investments, including Eur15 billion of public support, while hydrogen applications would need Eur90 billion, including Eur35 billion of public support to 2030.
The report assumes 16.9 million mt of EU clean hydrogen demand by 2030, based on the Hydrogen Roadmap Europe paper published last year by the EU's Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, a private-public research initiative.
Of this, an estimated 7.4 million mt would be green hydrogen produced from renewables -- 4.4 million mt in the EU and 3 million mt imported from North Africa and Ukraine.
Clean hydrogen from electrolysis using other low carbon electricity such as nuclear, and natural gas with carbon capture and storage, would provide 8.2 million mt.
The final 1.3 million mt would come from coal gasification with CCS.
These production estimates are based on Hydrogen Europe's 2x40GW Green Hydrogen Initiative paper published in April.
The investment report includes more detailed breakdowns of potential investments needed, such as Eur8 billion by 2030 to support 20 million mt of green steel production using 1 million mt of hydrogen. Around 25% of this should be covered by grants and subordinated loans, the report said.
Other uses include hydrogen replacing or being blended with natural gas for household use, producing power for balancing the power grid, and being used as a transport fuel.
Hydrogen Europe said the report was a "concrete road map" to help the planned Clean Hydrogen Alliance unlock the investment needed to scale up the EU hydrogen sector.
The EC is expected to unveil a dedicated EU hydrogen strategy and an EU energy systems integration strategy at the same time as the alliance launch.