Alternatively-fuelled vehicles including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric and hydrogen cars are displayed in London, England. | Jack Taylor/Getty Images
By KALINA OROSCHAKOFF
The European Commission wants to fund a world-dominating hydrogen market, according to a draft strategy seen by POLITICO.
The document exposes Commission worries that Europe lags behind Asian countries, both in investment and cost competitiveness.
It proposes a massive hydrogen scale-up in the short term, as well as an EU-led regulatory framework for free trade — with “clear sustainability criteria” and a benchmark denominated in euros. However, it does not spell out an overall amount that should be invested in hydrogen.
A final strategy is being fast-tracked for release late June. Brussels has been increasingly hyping hydrogen as crucial to a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 — and a muscled industrial presence on the world stage.
Out of 74 million tons of hydrogen made around the world each year, Europe produces 9.8 million tons.
It wants to ramp that up. Fast.
“The sector’s turnover could increase from €2 billion to €140 billion, creating 140,000 jobs by 2030,” the document predicts.
The biggest problem is price, according to internal Commission numbers.
Cheap and dirty, gray hydrogen can be made by stripping natural gas at €1