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The European Hydrogen Policy Landscape


This report aims to summarise the status of the European hydrogen policies and standards landscape. It is based on the information available at the European Hydrogen Observatory (EHO) platform, the leading source of data and information on hydrogen in Europe (EU27, EFTA and the UK), providing an overview of the European and national policies, legislations, strategies and, codes and standards which impact the deployment of hydrogen technologies and infrastructures. The EHO database covers a total of 29 EU policies and legislations that directly or indirectly affect the development and deployment of hydrogen technologies. To achieve its net zero ambitions, the EU started with cross-cutting strategies, such as the EU Green Deal and the EU Hydrogen Strategy, setting forward roadmaps and targets that are to be achieved in the near future. As a next step, the EU has developed legislations, such as those bundled in the Fit for 55 package, to meet the targets they have put forward. The implemented legislations, including funding vehicles and initiatives, have an impact on the whole value chain of hydrogen including production, transport, storage and distribution, and end-uses. At national level, as of July 2023, 63% of the European countries have successfully published their national strategies in the hydrogen sector, while 6% of the countries are currently in the draft stage. Several European countries have strategically incorporated quantitative indicators within their national strategies outlining their targets and estimates across the hydrogen value chain. This deliberate approach reflects a commitment to providing clear and measurable goals within their hydrogen strategies. A target often used in the national strategies is on electrolyser capacity as an effort to enhance the domestic renewable hydrogen production. Germany took the lead with an ambitious goal of achieving 10 GW by 2030, followed by France (6.5 GW) and Denmark (4 - 6 GW). Other targets that some of the countries use in their strategies are on the number of hydrogen refuelling stations, fuel cell electric vehicles and total (renewable) hydrogen demand. A few countries also have targets on renewable hydrogen uptake in industry and hydrogen injection limit in the transmission grid. To monitor the policies and legislation that are adopted on a national level across the hydrogen value chain, a survey was launched with national experts, which was validated by Hydrogen Europe. In total, 28 European countries have participated to the survey. On production, the survey revealed that 61% of country specialists report that their country provides support for capital expenditure (CAPEX) in the development of renewable or low-carbon hydrogen production plants. Moreover, 7 countries also provide support for operational expenditure (OPEX). Furthermore, 8 countries have instituted official 6 permitting guidelines for hydrogen production projects, while 5 countries have enacted a legal act or established an agency serving as a single point of contact for hydrogen project developers. For transmission, only two countries reported to provide support schemes for hydrogen injection. Several countries have policies in place that clearly define the hydrogen limit in their transmission grid for now and in the future, ranging from 0.02% up to 15%, while a few countries define within their policies the operation of hydrogen storage facilities. On end-use, the majority of countries, totalling 71%, reported to have implemented support schemes aimed at promoting the adoption of hydrogen in the mobility sector. Purchase subsidies stand out as the predominant form of support for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), with implementation observed in 17 countries. In the context of support schemes for stationary fuel applications, for heating or power generation, only two countries have adopted such measures. A slightly larger group of four countries do provide support for the deployment of residential and commercial heating systems utilizing hydrogen. For hydrogen end-use in industry, a total of 9 countries reported to provide support schemes with a major focus on ammonia production (8) and the chemicals industry (7). On the topic of technology manufacturing, 7 countries, have reported to have support schemes of which grants emerge as the mainly used method (4). Exploring the latest advancements into European codes and standards relevant to the deployment of hydrogen technologies and infrastructures, a total of 11 standards have been revised and developed between January 2022 and September 2023. This includes standards covering the following areas: 6 for fuel cell technologies, 2 for gas cylinders, 2 for road vehicles and 1 for hydrogen refuelling. Moreover, 5 standards were published since September 2023, which will be added to the EHO database in its next update. This includes ISO/TS 19870:2023, which sets a methodology for determining the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production, conditioning and transport of hydrogen to consumption gate. This landmark standard, which was unveiled at COP28, aims to act as a foundation for harmonization, safety, interoperability and sustainability across the hydrogen value chain.

Funding source: EU and Clean Hydrogen Partnership
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: Belgium

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