I attended a green hydrogen conference last week in Amsterdam to gather insight into the various players as well as better understand the what, when & where of the sector.
A few key takeaways:
· Green hydrogen (“GH2”) goes hand in hand with the REPowerEU initiative (at least for Europe). Due primarily to Russia’s war in Ukraine, the EU is adamant in reducing — even eliminating — dependency on Russian hydrocarbons. Upping renewable energy targets, implementing more energy efficiency goals & green hydrogen all play a part. The action plan can be seen here.
· High-level, REPowerEU calls for an incremental 80GW of renewables that, put simply, will fuel green hydrogen production. Today, there is a plethora of “coloured hydrogens” — blue, brown, yellow — but green is the objective & the “only colour” to receive significant EU funding.
· The EU will provide €500bn over the next 2 years in support of its 2030 targets of +20m metric tonnes of GH2. Just stop & process that number. €500bn in subsidies to make GH2 a reality. 10m mt of the targets will be produced within the EU whilst another 10m mt will be imported (interesting metric — currently ~9m mt of hydrogen is produced within the EU with natural gas, representing ~9% of EU consumption)
· The EU funds will go towards funding infrastructure buildout (a need for 28,000km of pipelines alone(!) as well as 15–20 hydrogen production ‘hubs’) & project support. The EU estimates that there will be 750 GH2 projects across Europe by year end
· The most realistic region for exporting into Europe is from N. Africa. Pipelining the stuff seems to be much more commercially viable than shipping it. Some conference participants predict that up to 5 new pipelines linking the two continents will be operational by 2030. This seems overly ambitious to me, given permitting times alone, but the EU appear hellbent on this initiative.
Overall, there were about 250 participates at the conference, ranging from technology suppliers to developers to financiers. And, I suppose, renewable folk like myself, there to learn a bit more about the ultimate X, in power-to-x potential.
There was a lot of excitement in the crowd and I couldn’t help draw a parallel to the renewable energy sector circa…