08 Oct 2021, 12:02
Julian Wettengel

Imports to cover about half of EU’s hydrogen needs by 2050 – report

Clean Energy Wire

European Union states will produce about half of the hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels it needs by 2050, with the other half imported from partner countries, said a report by the World Energy Council (WEC). By 2050, the total demand for hydrogen and hydrogen-based derivatives in the European Union (EU) could rise from the current level of around 10 million tonnes to 60 million tonnes or 2,000 terawatt hours, said WEC. “Establishing strategic relationships with potential exporters in the EU's neighbouring regions, such as Russia and the countries of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, will therefore be central to increasing the share of hydrogen in the European energy mix,” said Carsten Rolle, managing director of WEC Germany. WEC expects international hydrogen pipelines will in the future connect the EU with Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt (via Greece), Russia, Ukraine, Norway and the UK. The report said focussing only on green hydrogen made with renewable electricity could prevent reaching climate targets and increase costs. “Decarbonised hydrogen production from steam methane reforming (SMR) with carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) and nuclear power can provide a significant contribution in the medium term in some countries.

Hydrogen is seen as a major building block for a climate-friendly future energy supply, but most experts and the government say Germany will rely on large imports as it doesn't have enough space and lacks the right conditions to produce hydrogen with renewable power at low cost.

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