We are reading a lot recently about hydrogen and the role it can play in achieving our long term energy and climate objectives. The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) has recently published its roadmap for the energy transition. The FCH JU is a unique public private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration (RTD) activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. Its aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies, realising their potential as an instrument in achieving a carbon-clean energy system. Their press release talks about helping to achieve the 2 degree-scenario but surely by now no one is considering anything other than 1.5 degrees.
Hydrogen Roadmap Europe: A sustainable pathway for the European Energy Transition
Hydrogen is an essential element in the energy transition and can account for 24% of final energy demand and 5.4m jobs by 2050, says the new study by the FCH JU, “Hydrogen Roadmap Europe: A sustainable pathway for the European Energy Transition“. Developed with input from 17 leading European industrial actors, the study lays out a pathway for the large-scale deployment of hydrogen and fuel cells until 2050 and quantifies the associated socio-economic impacts.
The report makes the case that hydrogen is required to address the challenges ahead. At scale decarbonisation of key segments such as the gas grid, transport (particularly as relates to heavy duty vehicles), industrial processes that use high-grade heat and hydrogen as chemical feedstock require the use of hydrogen in large quantities.
In addition, the electrification of the economy and the large scale integration of intermittent renewable energy sources require large scale energy storage, enabling seasonal storage and the efficient transport of clean energy across regions at low cost. Hydrogen is the only at scale technology capable of addressing all of these challenges.
Importantly, there will be important socio-economic and environmental benefits associated with this deployment, such as an EUR 820B per year market, and a total of 560Mt CO2 abated. The report lays out a roadmap for the ramp-up of market deployment across applications, setting specific milestones between now and 2050. It also calls for a coordinated approach from policy makers, industry and investors in order to achieve the 2-degree scenario.
The report is available here.