In 2021 ERCST decided to launch a new workstream on hydrogen being aware of the great momentum this technology has gained and the race to scale up renewable and low carbon hydrogen. 2022 ERCST’s work on hydrogen will harness the knowledge and contact network built-in industry, academia, the European Institutions to consolidate the work started in 2021. ERCST will mainly focus on two different strands:

  1. Implementation of the EU Hydrogen Strategy and other EU regulatory developments under the framework of the Fit for 55 Package
  2. State of play of the EU Hydrogen Economy

On July 2020, the European Commission launched its long-awaited Hydrogen Strategy with the objective of boosting clean Hydrogen production in Europe while emphasizing the multifaceted nature of this technology and its multiple applications; as a feedstock, a fuel, an energy carrier and as a storage solution. As a cornerstone of the Strategy the European Commission established ambitious renewable hydrogen targets for 2024, 2030 and 2050 to create a Hydrogen based ecosystem. Since then, a considerable number of EU countries have put forward national strategies paving the way for future developments

After the reactions from Parliament and Council and one year after the publication of the EU hydrogen strategy, the European Commission put forward the most comprehensive legislative overhaul ever in the fields of energy and environment, the so-called Fit for 55 Package.

This package has undoubtedly laid the foundations for a hydrogen regulatory framework, however, some key issues remain unaddressed. This sub-work stream attempts to accompany the EU Institutions legislative and non-legislative procedures when it comes to key files for the development of an EU hydrogen economy such as the proposed revisions of the renewable energy directive, the ETS Directive, The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation, the CO2 emission standards for cars and vans, the Energy Taxation Directive or the Third EU Energy Package for gas.

This sub-work stream will be part of a continuous series of meetings and accompanying publications aimed at bringing together policymakers, industry and other stakeholders to reflect on key issues and elements identified by ERCST along the whole hydrogen value chain, that are needed for the deployment of a hydrogen economy and that have not been addressed so far, namely:

  • The balance between market and regulation in the face of designing and building a hydrogen economy,
  • Scarcity and affordability of hydrogen.
  • Consideration to the technology neutrality principle by the development of a hydrogen economy,
  • Classification of the different production processes for hydrogen,
  • EU hydrogen imports vs. EU hydrogen own production,
  • Additionality principle for renewable hydrogen,
  • Pace and design of an EU hydrogen infrastructure
  • Assessment of the best alternatives and instruments to foster the deployment of a Hydrogen economy such as Carbon Contract for Difference, Consumption Charges, Infrastructure Subsidies, Sustainable Finance Taxonomy, Tax Rebates, ETS revenues and Carbon Leakage Mechanisms.


Antonio Fernandez (afernandez@ercst.org)



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