The European Commission’s plan to help the 27-member bloc end its reliance on Russian fossil fuel imports—dubbed REPowerEU—includes a quick scale-up of renewable hydrogen production and use over the next several years.
Total investment costs are expected to be in the range of €335 billion to €471 billion by 2030, with €200 billion to €300 billion needed for additional renewable electricity production, according to the Commission.
The chart above shows the difference between the European Union’s current climate goals and targets under REPowerEU. The EU’s current plan envisions the use of 6.7 million tons of green hydrogen by 2030, while the new calculations have the potential to reach 20 million tons through increased domestic production and by importing 10 million additional tons by 2030.
“The focus of hydrogen demand should primarily remain on applications in hard-to-decarbonise sectors in industry and transport,” according to a detailed Commission staff working document.
While blending hydrogen into the natural gas grid can help the EU replace 4.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas, the Commission warned that it “requires careful consideration as it diminishes gas quality, can increase overall system costs and the costs of heating for the residential sector” since it is less efficient than direct electrification.