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Opening speech by Commissioner Thierry Breton at launch of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC), gepubliceerd op dinsdag 7 juli 2020.

After the words of Frans, I would also like to welcome you to the launch of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance.

Hydrogen is essential to decarbonise our industry, in particular energy-intensive sectors (such as steel and chemicals) and the mobility ecosystem.

Hydrogen is not only a vehicle to achieve our climate goals and support our green transition. It is also a means to ensure our international leadership, generate quality and sustainable jobs and contribute to a more resilient economy. We want Europe to be the industrial leader in clean hydrogen, for the sake of our economy and for future generations.

The Alliance plays a key role in turning our ambitions into reality.

We announced the intention to launch this Alliance in the New Industrial Strategy. That was in March, just before the Coronavirus crisis fully hit Europe. But our policy objectives remain unchanged. In fact, the crisis has strengthened our commitment to the Green Deal and accelerated the need for a green, digital and resilient recovery.

Turning our vision into reality

This morning we presented an ambitious hydrogen strategy. This Alliance will help make it happen on the ground.

It will channel the necessary investments into hydrogen production and develop a pipeline of concrete projects.

Because to master the challenge ahead of us, we need to work together. And with global competition moving fast, we need to act now.

That is why we are all here together to launch this Alliance.

Co-ownership and inclusiveness of the alliance

Each level of the value chain, each player of the market, must be included and get involved.

Because there is no rationale for producing hydrogen if there is no way to store and transport, or if no company wants to use it. At the same time, energy intensive sectors cannot convert to carbon neutral ways of production without having the guarantee of supply.

For it to be successful, the Alliance must above all be inclusive. And ensure cooperation at all levels: I am talking about Member States and companies, but also about local authorities, NGOs, trade unions and civil society.

All stakeholders are represented at this kick-off meeting and we are launching an open call to join the alliance. Any European organisation whose activities have a significant interest in low-carbon hydrogen will be able to join at any time, by signing the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance declaration.

A clear commitment toward tangible results

In order to turn the alliance into a tangible success, we also need each other's full commitment to fully engage behind it and to produce results quickly.

Our key objective is an investment agenda for an ambitious deployment of clean hydrogen technologies by 2050, bringing together all components of the value chain.

The targets are clear: from producing 6GW by 2024, we will need to reach 40 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers by 2030.

And we will have to scale up ourselves. The stakes are high: by 2050, there could be up between 180 and 470 billion EUR of investments in renewable hydrogen, compared to 3-18 billion EUR for low-carbon fossil-based hydrogen. We are speaking about up to 1 million jobs in Europe. We are not afraid of the challenge. Because I know I can rely on you, your dynamism and you commitment.

So, today we are eager to hear your expectations, ambitions and concrete proposals for actions. And to engage with you and other participants of the alliance on a regular basis, at the Hydrogen Forum, to make progress on this journey.

There is a lot of work ahead of us and I count on your active involvement - both the participants in this virtual room and all stakeholders following per webstreaming.

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