Press Releases Hydrogen Europe: First pillars raised for green industrial plan

Hydrogen Europe: First pillars raised for green industrial plan

The European Commission has today published its position on two key pillars of the EU’s Green Deal Industrial Plan: the Net Zero Industry Act and Critical Raw Materials Act. As part of this landmark and EU-wide initiative to secure our own sustainable energy future, initial plans for the European Hydrogen Bank have also been set in motion.

The Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) aims to speed up permitting processes for manufacturing projects in Member States and will act as a catalyser for private and public investments for clean technologies. Electrolysers and fuel cells are highlighted in the regulation as strategic technologies for Europe’s energy security and resilience.

“The proposed NZIA demonstrates the Commission’s commitment to decarbonisation and its support for hydrogen technologies to be a key component in delivering our climate ambitions. Currently bottlenecked hydrogen manufacturing projects will benefit from reduced administrative burdens. By 2030, at least 40% of EU annual deployment needs for clean technologies are to be produced locally, and a robust NZIA will be crucial for industry to reach these targets, which can even be surpassed with the right funding,” said Stephen Jackson, Deputy CEO and Chief Technology & Market Officer at Hydrogen Europe.

The Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) will set the basis for a renewed European approach to the use of raw materials and the revival of Europe’s sustainable materials market, focusing on the extraction, processing, recycling, monitoring and diversification of critical ores, minerals and concentrates, while strengthening its international outreach to current and future partners. Electrolysers and fuel cells are dependent on CRMs, thus their availability and future prices will evidently affect the speed of market growth.

Critical raw materials are the foundations for the green revolution, and we warmly welcome this timely and relevant proposal. We must ensure a sustainable and secure supply of these materials to our manufacturers, as well as an increased focus on circularity to manage their demand; today’s proposal is the first step towards that. We call on European policymakers to ensure that these proposed fast-permitting procedures be maintained and to provide more resources to increase industry competitiveness,” commented Daniel Fraile, Chief Policy Officer at Hydrogen Europe.

Finally, the Commission has released a communication on the long-awaited European Hydrogen Bank. The bank will facilitate both local and imported renewable hydrogen, beginning with an €800 million pilot auction for domestic production of renewable hydrogen this year, while lawmakers are also assessing the feasibility of creating a green premiums scheme for which suppliers from third countries or EU off-takers contracting with third country producers could also apply.

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe stated “Today is a turning point for the acceleration of the European hydrogen economy, thanks to the ambition expressed by the Commission via the NZIA and CRM acts. This first look at the structure of the long-awaited hydrogen bank is the cherry on top of what is a momentous day for European hydrogen. We look forward to continued dialogue with policymakers as we work to make Europe the global leader in hydrogen for decades to come.” 

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