EU hydrogen strategy adopted - Course set for the steel industry in Europe

by David Fleschen

After the German government had adopted a hydrogen strategy on 10. June, the EU Commission today presented its proposal for an EU hydrogen strategy. At the same time, a hydrogen alliance was presented with the aim of bringing together EU institutions, national governments and industry representatives. The aim is to establish integrated hydrogen value chains in the EU. Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff, President of the German Steel Federation (Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahl) evaluates the EU initiative positively: "With the EU hydrogen strategy and the national hydrogen strategy of the Federal Government, important decisions on the direction of decarbonization of the economy in Europe have now been taken. It must now succeed quickly in coordinating initiatives in the member states and the EU in a meaningful way".

It is particularly important for the steel industry that affordable hydrogen is available on an industrial scale as soon as possible. "There is no alternative to the use of hydrogen for extensive CO2 reduction in steel production. A fast market ramp-up will only be successful if hydrogen produced in an open technology is available at internationally competitive prices", explains Kerkhoff. At the same time, the use of hydrogen in steel production promises an outstanding lever in the reduction of CO2 emissions. "The use of hydrogen in steel production makes considerable CO2 savings possible and furthermore allows the production of more climate-friendly products along the steel-based value-added chains. The use of hydrogen in the steel industry therefore makes particular sense in terms of climate protection in order to achieve major CO2 reductions," the association's president continued.

In the coming months, it will be crucial to quickly and bindingly establish a binding regulatory framework for the hydrogen economy in Europe. This also includes ensuring that national initiatives do not fail due to EU state aid law. "The steel industry sees it as a central task of the German EU Council Presidency to finalize the hydrogen strategy and to remove possible regulatory obstacles so that the path to a climate-neutral economy can be successfully taken", explains Kerkhoff.

Source: WV Stahl, Photo: Fotolia

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