Hydrogen on the EU agenda!

Federal Minister Elisabeth Köstinger and EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete at the informal meeting of energy ministers on 18 September 2018

On 18 September 2018 the use of hydrogen as a future?oriented energy form was among the items on the agenda of the informal meeting of EU energy ministers.

“The Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union proposed a Hydrogen Initiative that many member states approved of and signed”, said Elisabeth Köstinger, current chair of the EU energy minister meetings. “Under this initiative, the signatory states commit themselves to continue research and investment in the production and use of hydrogen as a future?oriented technology”,

Elisabeth Köstinger added. In Linz, where the informal meeting of energy ministers took place on 17 and 18 September, one of the most modern European hydrogen production plants is currently being built.

“In order to achieve the European?wide 2030 climate and energy goals, renewable energy forms have to be strengthened and better integrated”, Elisabeth Köstinger emphasised. “A big challenge is also being able to use renewable energy at those times when the sun is not shining, the water level is low or the wind is not blowing. Therefore, energy storage solutions are crucial in order to stock energy and to store it in the case of overproduction.”

According to Elisabeth Köstinger, renewable hydrogen could, in future, play an important role in this area. Moreover, she said, hydrogen constituted not only a potential future?oriented technology for storing energy but its use as a vehicle fuel would also add to reducing the role of fossil energy sources in mobility. “With the Hydrogen Initiative we want to send out a strong signal for renewable hydrogen and a European-wide cooperation”, Elisabeth Köstinger said.

EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete also welcomed the initiative of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union:

“Green hydrogen offers significant potential for the d“WE HAD A VERY OPEN AND ACTIVE DISCUSSION ON THE POINTS MENTIONED ABOVE. IN THESE DISCUSSIONS, THE POSITIONS OF ALL MEMBER STATES WERE FULLY RESPECTED. THIS IS ONE OF THE BASIC PREREQUISITES FOR MAKING PROGRESS POSSIBLE AND POTENTIALLY FINALISING THE CLEAN ENERGY PACKAGE IN THE COMING MONTHS.”ecarbonisation of the European economy. The Commission warmly welcomes the Hydrogen Initiative as it will further harness the innovative drive across the EU.”

More information about the informal meeting of energy ministers can be found on the event page.

We, the signatories of this initiative, gathered in Linz, Austria, on the 17th and 18th of September 2018, collectively aim to maximise the great potentials of sustainable hydrogen technology for the decarbonisation of multiple sectors, the energy system and for the long-term energy security of the EU. Acknowledging climate change as a common global challenge and focusing on our commitments to the UNFCCC, we especially underline the key role of sustainable energy technologies in the targeted process of decarbonisation. We need to increase our ambition in all sectors to fulfil the targets set by the Paris Agreement, namely to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The signatories of this declaration stress that in light of the continuous progress of automation and digitalisation in industry, the energy sector should prepare for new challenges in energy demand, usage, transport and storage. We highlight the potential of renewable hydrogen as an energy storage solution as well as a sustainable climate neutral energy carrier and feedstock. Therefore, renewable hydrogen is able to store as well as provide reliable and timely access to renewable energy, thus offering new opportunities to increase energy security and reduce the Energy Union’s dependency on fossil imports…

The full text is available here  The Hydrogen Initiative (not available in an accessible format) (EN only)