Leading The Way Towards Net Zero: Hydrogen as a missing piece of the puzzle for a green energy transition

Join the discussion on 5th November 2021 8:30-9:30 UK/9:30-10:30 CET

COP26 has finally arrived, and according to Ms. Thunberg, the time for talking has long passed. It goes without saying that we hope to see decisive commitments and bold investment promises over the course of the next two weeks.  Many see this conference as a final chance to make suitably ambitious annual funding commitments to help developing nations for the challenges that lie ahead.

Hydrogen is a key piece of the puzzle if we want to effectively transition to a net-zero economy. More than 30 countries have created Hydrogen Roadmaps and investment momentum is building, making hydrogen a more prominent topic at this COP than ever before. While the costs of hydrogen production, transport and storage remain relatively high, Hydrogen’s  role in creating a completely renewable energy system is being increasingly recognised, given the magnitude of solutions required to meet net-zero targets. Recent policy initiatives such as the European and UK Hydrogen Strategies secure hydrogen’s place in the net-zero energy mix, with predictions for its share in the EU’s final energy demand by 2050 ranging from 13% to 24% (FCHJU, 2019).

With the costs of technology for green hydrogen gradually decreasing – the price of electrolysers fell 60% from 2014-2020 (Cell Press Reports, 2020) – combined with the falling cost of renewables, hydrogen generation is likely to become an effective complimentary energy source to lithium-ion batteries, once infrastructure is developed. It is important to note that Hydrogen is not an industry for the future, but an industry that we need now. Its ability to be densified and stored as a fuel makes hydrogen a solution for intermittency in renewables.  In terms of applications, Hydrogen is becoming a clear option for decarbonising difficult industries, such as steel-making, concrete production and maritime shipping.

Technology to produce low-carbon hydrogen is proven in the lab, but many challenges exist to reaching its scale-up potential: from enabling production on a mass scale, to establishing a robust eco-system for production, storage and transport of Hydrogen in Europe.  The viability of hydrogen applications is already being demonstrated through innovative projects between local authorities, funding initiatives and industry. For example, the H2 Aberdeen Initiative has had success with Europe’s first fleet of Hydrogen powered buses in the city, powered by a fully integrated green hydrogen production and refuelling station which has so far demonstrated 99.99% reliability. There are plans for expansion of the fleet through participation in the European-wide Fuel Cell Bus Commercialisation Plan. The benefit of hydrogen technology is that capacity is likely to grow exponentially with funding and development, and opportunities such as this allow for innovation to be brought to market to be trialled and scaled.

However, Hydrogen needs much investment to fully scale-up, along with collaboration across sectors and the value chain to support knowledge exchange and connecting storage, production and demand.  McKinsey & Co. forecasted that only 1% of capital expenditure for net-zero pathway solutions is to be directed to Hydrogen. With wind and solar renewables already in the acceleration stage, financial priorities must shift to align with the policy focus placed on scaling up Hydrogen for application in some of the largest sectors to tackle. Investors have an enormous role to play in accelerating R&D and uptake, and already we are seeing bold moves from the private sector to accelerate clean hydrogen: chemical company INEOS announced plans to invest €2.3 billion into European electrolysis projects this decade for power generation, transportation, and industrial use (Energy Live News, 2021). EU and UK policy must also support their own ambitions through a clear regulatory framework and strong financial support mechanisms such as investment subsidies, grants, incentives and tax rebates.

NovAzure is active in working with Start-ups, Corporates, Investors and authorities to accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy, and is committed to playing its part in accelerating Green and Blue Hydrogen scaling. As part of this journey, NovAzure is proud to be a co-host with ENGIE, Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), the European Commission and Samenwerkingsverband Noord-Nederland (SNN) for an exciting virtual event on hydrogen as part of COP26, where we will talk about “Hydrogen as a missing piece of the puzzle for a green energy transition”.  Alongside our excellent co-hosts, we will be discussing some of the major challenges to the success of establishing and growing successful H2 start-ups in Europe, and highlighting the Top 30 European H2 start-ups we have identified.

Please Join us for this virtual event on November 5th from 8.30-9.30 UK time by clicking on this link. we welcome any questions or feedback during the session.

Join NovAzure and our co-hosts for an hour of discussion and debate about the part that hydrogen plays in Europe’s energy transition.

NovAzure will share insights about its Top 30 European hydrogen start-ups and about overcoming key challenges.  There’ll be Q&A and lots more. Please join us!

Register now here


Cell Press. 2020. “Techno-Economic Analysis Of Hydrogen Electrolysis From Off-Grid Stand-Alone Photovoltaics Incorporating Uncertainty Analysis”. Cell Reports Physical Science. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666386420302241?via%3Dihub

FCHJU. (2019). Hydrogen Roadmap Europe, a sustainable pathway for the European energy transition. Retrieved from https://fch.europa.eu

Energy Live News. (2021). INEOS to invest £2bn in hydrogen production. Retrieved from https://www.energylivenews.com/2021/10/21/ineos-to-invest-2bn-in-hydrogen-production/


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