Green hydrogen: a key to unlocking energy security in Europe
Siemens Gamesa launched a white paper, Unlocking European Energy Security, outlining the energy supply challenges facing Europe since the invasion of Ukraine and the actions needed to bring about stability and energy security while addressing the climate emergency and delivering decarbonization.
In the space of just three months in 2022, the importance and urgency of nations protecting and ensuring their energy supply increased dramatically. Geopolitical events have elevated energy security to the forefront of European governments’ concerns, both in terms of securing independent supply and securing predictable prices for the consumer.
In the years to the EU’s 2050 deadline for climate neutrality, renewable energy and green hydrogen will be of pivotal importance. In delivering energy security with clean, affordable and domestically produced clean energy and fuels, large-scale decarbonization is possible simultaneously. Through the conversion of hard-to-abate industries to this green fuel, nations can hit the targets necessary to achieve net zero.
The importance of tackling both issues of energy security and decarbonization together is highlighted by Siemens Gamesa global CEO Jochen Eickholt, “The current crisis should not be allowed to push the climate emergency down the agenda. It is imperative that the entire renewable energy ecosystem is aligned on the need to reduce the demand for fossil fuels. For green hydrogen to reach scale and, thus, competitiveness, it too needs a seismic shift in the scale and speed of renewables roll-out.” Five levers hold the key:
1. Increase the volume of renewable energy produced in Europe; speeding up the process of permitting is critical to this.
2. Initiate green hydrogen infrastructure for transportation and distribution, whether that is domestically produced or imported, and develop a stable hydrogen trading market.
3. Innovate storage solutions to ensure continuity and predictability of supply and introduce flexible legislation enabling sector coupling to balance electricity demand and green hydrogen production.
4. Introduce legislative and regulatory tools to create a market for EU-generated green hydrogen with guaranteed cost comparison against fossil fuel-based imports.
5. Industrialize the scale of production of the electrolyzers necessary to supply demand in Europe.
Juan Gutierrez, global CEO of Siemens Gamesa’s Service business says, “Siemens Gamesa calls upon European governments and the relevant industries to work together in coalition to deliver energy security through renewables and green hydrogen, environment security through essential decarbonization and security of stable pricing of energy to end consumers. The terrible events of the invasion of Ukraine have laid bare uncomfortable truths about the vulnerability of each of these elements, but it’s within nation states’ power to address each of these through a united approach to increase renewables installations and the adoption of green hydrogen.”