Thursday (October 27) heard insights from the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, a public-private collaboration between the European Commission, Hydrogen Europe, and Hydrogen Europe Research, on how it plans on continue to support the development and deployment of hydrogen technologies.
Bart Beibuyck, Executive Director of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, told the delegation that the industry must be honest with itself as it strives to scale, stressing the need for research to continue.
“We still need research,” said Beibuyck. “Let’s be very honest, today, the biggest electrolyser in the field in Europe is 10MW. We have eight years to build 200GW, which is a challenge.”
Referring back to European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans’ speech on Tuesday (October 25), which described the Commission’s REPowerEU plan hydrogen goals as “bloody ambitious”, Beibuyck said, “To get there [200GW] we will need research, a massive amount of research.”
He added, “Europe will not be able to do it alone. We will need to work together with EU member states who have additional research funding. Let’s bring this together and make sure we align with the member states, to do more research, faster.”
Launched in November 2021, the Clean Hydrogen Partnership was set to take over all the activities of the existing Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCHJU).
During the Clean Hydrogen Partnership’s programme status session, Mirela Atanasiu, Head of Unit for Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking admitted that there is still work for the Partnership to do, saying, “We still have a lot of work to do in some parts of Europe.”
Atanasiu explained that the Clean Hydrogen Partnership has been conducting a public opinion survey on hydrogen technologies. Sharing preliminary results, she told the delegation, that the levels of public awareness of hydrogen technologies was comparable to levels of awareness of renewables.
However, when asked if they had seen any deployment of hydrogen technology, the results were very different. She said, “People have not come in touch with hydrogen technology. They know about it, but they have not experienced it, and that is normal.”
Alternatively, when asked if they viewed hydrogen as a solution for energy security, the preliminary results indicated that there is public support for hydrogen.
“So, the public have heard about it. They haven’t experienced it but agree that hydrogen is a solution. So, I think we are on the right track,” said Atanasiu.
She told the delegation that the Clean Hydrogen Partnership expects to share the full results of the survey, along with analysis at the beginning of next year (2023).