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13 May 2022

Green hydrogen imports could bolster EU energy security

Europe could deploy 20 million tonnes of green hydrogen within the next eight years, a supply that could eventually replace most hydrocarbon use in European heavy industry and shipping, says US think tank RMI.

By Energy Monitor Staff

The EU can wean itself off fossil fuel imports and realise its climate objectives by focusing on developing a renewables-produced green hydrogen import market, according to new research released on 12 May by US think tank RMI. 

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The bloc’s clean energy system will need local primary energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal, but the deployment of green hydrogen and green ammonia will allow the region to access cheap, clean energy from regions with better renewable resources, states the report. 

A liquified natural gas tanker anchored in a small gas terminal island. (Photo by Aerial-motion via Shutterstock)

RMI estimates that, with the help of imports, Europe can achieve its goal of deploying 20 million tonnes of green hydrogen within the next eight years – a supply that could eventually replace most hydrocarbon use in European heavy industry and shipping.

Green hydrogen projects are now more competitive than their blue hydrogen counterparts. Factoring in natural gas and EU carbon allowance futures, importing green hydrogen will be cheaper than producing grey and blue hydrogen in the EU by the time capacity comes online in 2024, according to the RMI report

Developing "green ammonia” – ammonia made from renewables-based hydrogen – would allow Europe to build upon its established supply chain for shipping ammonia, states the research. Industrial demand centres in northern Europe are currently preparing to receive green ammonia and distribute it to the fertiliser sector and for use as green bunker fuel for ships. Additional supply could be converted back into hydrogen to meet demand at petrochemical facilities, steel manufacturers and other facilities.

“If European industry leaders and policymakers act today, they can lay the groundwork for green hydrogen import and deployment,” write authors Natalie Janzow, Thomas Koch Blanka and Oleksiy Tatarenko. “The EU should embrace its role as a leader in setting hydrogen ambitions and better coordinate actions across member states to establish concentrated demand centers and crossborder market norms, setting clear standards and rules for imports of hydrogen with close to zero emissions.

"A rigorous and credible certification scheme will be critical to ensuring that emissions along the full hydrogen value chain are properly accounted for,” they add.

Free Whitepaper
img

What's the outlook for low carbon hydrogen?

The development of the hydrogen economy will support the fulfilment of decarbonization objectives, particularly for those sectors that are difficult to electrify, such as heavy industry, long-distance trucking, shipping, and aviation. GlobalData's Hydrogen Service tracks investment in the hydrogen sector, and provides you with:
  • A complete dataset of the low-carbon hydrogen projects across the globe.
  • Latest news across the hydrogen value chain.
  • Quarterly market analysis, with details of new projects, company activity and financial deals.
For more information, and to download sample pages from our quarterly market analysis, including a summary of the active and upcoming low-carbon hydrogen capacity by region, please enter your details.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

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