The terms like ‘Climate Neutrality’, ‘Carbon Negative’ have been around for a while now. But it’s only recently that startups and big companies have started integrating these concepts into their operations. The collective efforts in the next thirty years will be crucial in reducing environmental degradation and ensuring the survival of life as we know it.
Decarbonising the planet
Decarbonising the planet is one of the goals that countries around the world have set for 2050. As a result, EIT InnoEnergy, an innovation engine for sustainable energy across Europe, has launched the European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Centre (EGHAC).
This initiative is to support the development of an annual €100B green hydrogen economy by 2025 that could create half a million direct and indirect jobs across the green hydrogen value chain.
Supported by Breakthrough Energy
The EGHAC is supported by Breakthrough Energy, a network of entities founded by Bill Gates and the world’s top tech and business leaders to speed the transition to a clean energy future.
Green Hydrogen, the next-gen fuel is considered a key driver in transforming Europe’s energy sector and a catalyst for decarbonising its sizable industry.
Jacob Ruiter, a member of the EIT InnoEnergy Executive Board, says: “The commercialisation of green hydrogen is absolutely vital if Europe is to achieve its ambitious goals of becoming the first net-zero continent by 2050. Quite simply, there is no better way of decarbonising heavy industry and heavy transport, and it can also play a significant role in supporting grid flexibility through storage.”
Reducing the dependency on fossil fuel
The non-toxic colorless gas is well-positioned to become a central piece of the EU’s climate neutral economy, thereby reducing the dependency on over €320B of fossil fuel imports each year. EGHAC aims to accelerate green hydrogen production at the gigawatt-scale to deliver large-scale industrial projects across Europe.
The EGHAC will manage several workstreams, including:
- Promotion and co-creation of industrial projects across the value chain
- Building connections with other industrial and energy value chains
- Acceleration of technology development
- Stimulation of market growth
- Societal acceptance
- Addressing the skills gaps.
Used to store energy
Right now, the priority seems to be closing the price gap between carbon-emitting technologies and green hydrogen, which would drive substantial displacement of hydrocarbons in energy-intensive industrial applications, heavy transport, and fertilisers. Since green hydrogen can also be used to store energy, it makes a key enabler for the expansion of volatile renewable sources.
European Battery Alliance (EBA)
In this case, EIT InnoEnergy claims to bring valuable experience from the European Battery Alliance (EBA). The annual market value is estimated at €250B from 2025 onwards.
For Europe, the establishment of a complete domestic battery value chain is imperative for a clean energy transition and a competitive industry. According to EIT InnoEnergy, the key to its success is operating at the centre of the energy transition, bringing innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and other key stakeholders around the table to deliver a very ambitious target.
Ann Mettler, senior director at Breakthrough Energy, adds, “The European Union’s Green Deal is the perfect launching pad for the European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center. Building on the political momentum, the Center will use green hydrogen as a driver for the deep decarbonisation of the European industry. Against this backdrop, it will create a pipeline of pioneering large-scale projects, launch a new generation of public-private partnerships, and accelerate the speed of delivery from mega- to gigawatts.’
EIT InnoEnergy follows the mandate of the EU Commission and claims to have invested in and provided added value services to some 300 sustainable energy related innovators; of those 20+ are across the hydrogen value chain; and some 40+ in renewable generation – a key component to green hydrogen. InnoEnergy was established in 2010 and is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
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