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The International Dimension of Hydrogen
27 27+01:00 April 27+01:00 2022 @ 14:00 - 16:00
This is a hybrid meeting, participants can choose to attend online or in person.
This new workstream aims to bring together stakeholders, including policymakers and industry on a regular basis to discuss substantive issues around the topic of hydrogen, informed by original intellectual input from ERCST.
ERCST has accompanied EU institutions and stakeholders in the different stages of the hydrogen regulatory process, identifying missing pieces and shedding more light on issues that needed further clarification.
Now, after having focused on the EU hydrogen policy and regulatory sphere, this event launches ERCST research activities on the international dimension of hydrogen.
On March 8th the European Commission published a communication entitled Repower EU, placing renewable hydrogen at the core of the Commission’s strategy to speed up decarbonization, increase security of supply and reduce dependency from Russian’s gas. The communication also referred to 10 million tons of hydrogen to be imported from outside the EU by 2030.
As part of the Fit for 55 package, the European Commission has set the foundations for a gradual phase out of fossil gases paving the way for the uptake of renewable and low-carbon gases in an attempt, on the one side to decarbonize the gas sector, and on the other side to reduce strategic dependencies. Although the general direction of travel was clearly set in the Fit for 55 package, the geopolitical circumstances have radically changed for obvious reasons.
Hydrogen is not a natural resource and therefore its production, which can be delocalized does not depend on a specific place or territory thus reducing the risks of creating a strategic dependency. However hydrogen imports are not free from potential side effects.
One of them as highlighted by the European Parliament in its reaction to the European Commission hydrogen strategy is how to make sure, the hydrogen imported is subject to the same environmental standards as the one produced in the EU.
Another one is that some EU industries may be put at a disadvantage being forced to rely on hydrogen imports. As EU produced renewable and low-carbon hydrogen is expected to be expensive and scarce during the transition, third countries producing cheaper hydrogen may be encouraged to go down into the value chain and produce cheap low-carbon steel, chemicals, or ammonia.
We would also like to briefly explore what the role of the different nations will be in shaping the EU and global hydrogen market.
Finally, CBAM is one of the most important elements of this international dimension. As part of the Fit for 55 package, the European Commission proposed the establishment of a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism geared towards the equalization of carbon prices between selected domestic and imported products. Hydrogen was not included in the Commission proposal but was included in the European Parliament draft report by ENVI. This meeting aims to encourage discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of a potential inclusion of hydrogen in the EU CBAM.
This meeting will start with a presentation by ERCST, outlining some of the key aspects that shape the international dimension of hydrogen and that may have an impact on the EU hydrogen economy. ERCST presentation will be followed by a panel discussion that intends to encourage a discussion on the following questions:
- To what extent does the EU need to import hydrogen?
- Do we endanger EU industry by supporting hydrogen production in third countries?
- How will the landscape in terms of hydrogen global production look like in the future?
- Should CBAM cover hydrogen imports? Why yes, why not.