Hydrogen Wins as ‘Fit for 55’ Pushes for EU Decarbonization

July 30, 2021
The hydrogen economy received another boost with the announcement of Europe’s ‘Fit for 55’ Climate and Energy Proposal. Intended to slash the greenhouse gas emissions of the European Union by 55% within this decade, it speeds the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Its core mission is to turn the 2020s into a transformative decade for climate action, which includes a profound restructuring of energy taxation in Europe, increased renewable energy and energy efficiency targets – all of which will advance the deployment of clean hydrogen.

The Fit for 55 proposal signifies Europe’s moment of truth with climate policies that will significantly impact the daily lives of all businesses and citizens – especially global trading partners. Hydrogen wins in several areas of the package as it received its first-ever dedicated EU targets as part of the new renewable energy directive.

The Secretary General of Hydrogen Europe, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, commented:

“The EU has come one step closer to becoming a global leader in hydrogen development. By assigning targets on the use of hydrogen in industry and transport, the EU stands a real chance to achieve climate objectives, create thousands of jobs and protect its industry. There is no time to lose – delivering on the Fit for 55 must start today!”

Developing an EU hydrogen economy and a homegrown hydrogen industry is critical to meeting the EU Green Deal, which aims to make Europe the first climate neutral continent in the world. The Fit for 55 package gives a significant boost to the development of the European hydrogen industry through:

50% target on the share of renewable hydrogen consumption in industry
75% reduction in maritime greenhouse gas intensity by 2050
1000 public hydrogen refilling stations by 2025
one hydrogen refilling station every 150 km along main motorways

In 2020 the European Commission put forward a Hydrogen Strategy, setting the ambition to make the EU a global leader in hydrogen development. The Fit for 55 package sets a course to delivering climate neutrality by 2050 and represents an important step to walk the talk via concrete legislation.

Until recently, such a comprehensive plan was politically inconceivable, but today’s emphasis for environmental responsibility demands change. As with all change, it comes with a cost. The costs for decarbonization will become a politically delicate proposition, the effects of which will be felt by families and small businesses. Over the next two years, the costs associated with implementing Fit for 55 will most likely be at the heart of fierce negotiations; however, this proposal is likely to be approved without major turbulence. The world is one step closer to a cleaner environment powered by hydrogen, and Fit for 55 reinforces that the time for hydrogen is now!

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