The great political project of the European Union today and for the coming years is called the European Green Deal, with all the regulations, public policies and financial instruments that derive from it. The European Union’s foremost commitment is to be at the forefront of the fight against climate change, making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. This means transforming models and methods of production, consumption, mobility, including the relationship with the environment and natural resources. This will at the same time require the creation of great political alliances and transversal consensus involving everyone in achieving this ambitious goal that cannot be deferred.
The rapid reduction of CO2 emissions will play a key role in achieving climate neutrality. According to the Institute for European Environmental Policy, we have emitted as much CO2 since 1990 as in all of previous history. Given this fact, and with the climate emergency before us, green hydrogen as an energy vector is considered a key element in accelerating the decarbonization of the economy.
We have therefore decided to open the debate on the role of green hydrogen in the energy transition and the achievement of the EU’s climate goals to Catalan public opinion with an eminently informative study. Beyond the specific initiatives that are already being worked on in our country in the field of green hydrogen and that will undoubtedly take shape in the coming months and years, we wanted to help approach the debate on the challenges and the opportunities that this element can offer.
It seemed to us that now was a good time to do so, given that at least two relevant factors have coincided: the materialization of the European Green Deal—via the European Climate Law that has been negotiated, along with other connected regulations—and the European Recovery Fund, an unprecedented injection of public funds that should have the effect, among other things, of accelerating the energy transition, and that should also inject resources into the development of green hydrogen.
Green hydrogen is not the solution to climate change, but it is part of the solution. Commitment to green hydrogen must obviously be accompanied by many other actions in this area, including capacity building in renewables, or energy efficiency, for example. We are also aware that the development of green hydrogen poses significant challenges, be they technological—solutions need to be perfected in terms of storage and distribution, for example; financial—substantial investments must be made throughout the value chain to make green hydrogen profitable and competitive in the face of less clean alternatives; and even social—it will be necessary to greatly increase the generation of renewables, including solar and onshore and offshore wind, leading to debate on the territorial impact that they will generate. But we are also convinced that we cannot afford to fall behind, and that Catalonia has the potential to become a Hydrogen Valley of reference in Europe and the Mediterranean. We will all need to get involved, in the political sphere, from the national to the municipal levels, and from social to economic and academic agents. It’s just the beginning for a challenge that we all need to meet.
You can read the study by clicking here.