New report by IRENA on the importance of hydrogen in the energy transition

Hydrogen: the missing link in the energy transition

‘Hydrogen is the missing link in the global energy system transition by 2050, as required by the targets in the Paris Agreement’ according to the report launched on 6 September 2018 in Bonn by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Renewable electricity can be used to produce hydrogen, which can in turn provide energy to sectors like industry, buildings and power, transport otherwise difficult to decarbonise only through electrification. Hydrogen produced through an electrolyser from renewable electricity could also facilitate the integration of high levels of variable renewable energy into the energy system, offering a flexible load and providing grid balancing services.

While key hydrogen technologies are maturing, scale-up can however yield the necessary technology cost reductions’ underlines the IRENA report.

Over the last 10 years, FCH JU has supported research and innovation activities to increase efficiency and reduce costs of hydrogen production from water electrolysis, while exploring on large-scale the hydrogen capacity to harness power from renewables and integrate them into the global energy system.

The potential of hydrogen for the greening of energy intensive industry in particular (steel, refineries, food etc) has led to fast capacity increase and cost reduction. More than 30 projects (about 100 mill. EURO as EU contribution) were supported for different technologies, and currently FCH JU is in the process of signing the first 20MW electrolyser project for sectoral integration through hydrogen.

Adequate policy and regulatory framework needed

‘A policy and regulatory framework to encourage the appropriate private investment is critical. Such framework could consider technology-neutral instruments aimed at final consumers, financial support instruments to cover the initial cost premium relative to any incumbent technologies and de-risking instruments to encourage market uptake for infrastructure and hydrogen deployment’ mentions also the IRENA report today.

In April 2018, the FCH JU- funded CertifHy initiative has started the first Green Hydrogen Guarantees of Origin (GOs) pilot that will become soon available for sale EU-wide. EU-wide transferable GOs for renewable hydrogen create a new and transparent hydrogen market with a business case, enhance market pull and empower consumers.

For more information click here.

Access the "Hydrogen from renewable power" report by IRENA here.