Managed by EIT InnoEnergy and supported by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Fund, the new European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center, EGHAC in short, aims to drive the green hydrogen sector in Europe. Cost reductions for industrial and heavy-duty applications take priority.
The ambitious goal is to create a hydrogen industry with an annual market volume of 100 billion euros by 2025. “With the centre, we want to create the possibility to use green hydrogen on a large scale for a comprehensive decarbonization of the European industry”, said Ann Mettler, Senior Director of Breakthrough Energy.
Already in the next five years, EGHAC promises to help establish a hydrogen industry in Europe and to create “half a million jobs” directly or indirectly. To this end, the centre wants to initiate several “trend-setting major projects”, the first showcase is in the planning stage, according to Mettler.
Jacob Ruiter, a member of EIT InnoEnergy Executive Board, underlines the area of impact for the venture: “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.” Both the Breakthrough Energy Fund and EIT InnoEnergy reportedly want to invest. However, a concrete mobility project has not yet been announced. Other industries would also be able to benefit from a significantly expanded production of green hydrogen. “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,” added Ruiter.
However, a 100 billion euro market for green hydrogen is still a long way off. The German publication Handelsblatt quotes a Eurostat evaluation according to which in all EU member states so far just under 20 per cent of the energy required comes from renewable sources. While Germany wants to rely exclusively on renewable energies as part of its National Hydrogen Strategy, the EU Commission also wants to promote so-called grey hydrogen produced with natural gas in the transition.