EC and electrolyser makers to build a home for renewable hydrogen in Europe

May 5and, EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton and 20 CEOs representing Europe’s electrolyser manufacturing industry met in Brussels to pave the way for achieving the REPowerEU Communication target of 10 mt of renewable hydrogen produced locally and 10 mt imported by 2030. Achieving this objective This objective would require a ramp-up of electrolyzer production to around 25 GW per year and an installed capacity of electrolysers of 90 to 100 GW, an unprecedented challenge and a significant industrial opportunity. The ambition is to transform EU technology leadership into global business leadership that will be a torchbearer for climate action around the world.

Commissioner Breton and the electrolyser manufacturing sector signed a joint statement comprising 3 pillars. First, ensure a supportive regulatory framework through adequate permit rules and commit to defending the ambitious targets included in the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive and the proposed Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation. Second, facilitate adequate access to finance by revamping the Innovation Fund to include the manufacturing of innovative low-carbon and low-carbon equipment such as electrolyzers. Also, access state aid to reduce investment risks and implement carbon contracts for difference to further encourage the large-scale deployment of clean hydrogen technologies. Third, integrate supply chains by expanding research and development and ensuring the availability of required components and materials in a timely and affordable manner.

“With RePowerEU, we have just doubled our hydrogen production target in the EU to 10 million tonnes by 2030. This will require large quantities of electrolyzers for hydrogen production. European electrolyser manufacturers are world technology leaders. Today, the industry has agreed to increase electrolyser manufacturing capacities in Europe tenfold to achieve our RePowerEU goals. The Commission is committed to supporting this major industrial move upmarket with a number of accompanying measures,” said Thierry Breton.

“The manufacturing capacity of electrolyzers must be increased significantly to meet the expected European demand for renewable hydrogen. There is no Hydrogen Accelerator without an acceleration in the manufacture of electrolysers. There is no acceleration of electrolyzer manufacturing in Europe without adequate regulatory and financial support. Cost-effective and scalable solutions are key qualifying criteria. It’s time to take action,” said Jon André Løkke, CEO of Nel Hydrogen and President of Hydrogen Europe.

“Today’s joint statement marks a major effort to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and secure clean energy supplies. The industry is ready to strengthen its manufacturing capacities to meet the expected market demand and to undertake a series of innovative projects. The ball is in the court of lawmakers to maintain the ambitious goals of the Fit for 55 package and conclude the work on the delegated act on RFNBOs with clear and achievable rules. Now is the time to remove all obstacles to build a home for electrolysers in Europe”, commented Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe.

Mary I. Bruner