So far there is no comprehensive strategy or roadmap to develop and promote the use of clean hydrogen.
The proposed opinion will underline the demand for such a roadmap and seek to ensure that it gives the best possible support to EU local and regional authorities (LRAs) in their efforts to develop clean hydrogen.
It will focus on the following aspects:
the significance of clean hydrogen for sector-coupling/integration and for the storage of renewable energy, as a climate neutral fuel (including power-to-X) and for the decarbonisation of CO2-intensive industries at local and regional level
the necessary support in terms of political and regulatory measures at EU level
the need to strengthen EU research and innovation as well as EU initiatives to support the placing on the market of hydrogen technologies for climate neutral regional and local value chains
Decarbonisation and pursuing the zero-emissions goal in the EU are among the priorities of the CoR.
The proposed opinion follows on from the CoR Resolution on the proposals for the new legislative mandate of the EU (RESOL-VI/035) of October 2019, in which the CoR calls on the Commission to set an ambitious, coherent and comprehensive framework to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
The opinion would thus flesh out some demands formulated in the CoR opinions ENVE-VI/037 and ENVE-VI-040, calling for a cross-sector transition to a sustainable low-emission energy system, as well as decarbonisation of the transport systems and of the European gas industry.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- welcomes the EU Hydrogen Strategy comprising a roadmap of legislative and non-legislative actions to support the development of a EU hydrogen market;
- underlines that green hydrogen and a strong clean hydrogen economy have an essential role in the energy transition to reach climate neutrality, whilst creating great opportunities for innovation, value creation and employment in many European regions;
- urges in this respect to strengthen EU-wide demand and production, in particular through targets for green hydrogen generation capacity in the EU, a significant increase in electricity production from renewables, promoting lead markets for green hydrogen technologies, Carbon Contracts for Difference and the European Alliance for Clean Hydrogen;
- calls for a supportive EU legal framework for market development and infrastructure, especially with an EU-wide sustainability classification of hydrogen, an integration of the hydrogen market with the electricity and gas market and the revision of the relevant EU legislation on renewable energies, the gas market and trans-European energy- and transport networks;
- requests support through investment, taxation and state aid, including through IPCEl projects, the revision of EU energy taxation and support e.g. through the ETS Innovation Funds, the InvestEU Programme and the post-COVID-19 recovery plan;
- urges further research, innovation and education, e.g. by launching the European Clean Hydrogen Partnership and through the new EU skills pact;
- calls upon the EU to support regional value chains and clusters, including the participation of regions in the European Alliance for Clean Hydrogen and the European Partnership for Clean Hydrogen.