Posted on 01 April 2021
Hydrogen is touted by politicians as the way to decarbonise difficult sectors such as transport, heating and industry.
Yet using hydrogen risks prolonging the use of gas infrastructure, and locking investments into fossil fuels for decades to come.
The EU needs to be doing the exact opposite - phasing out fossil fuels, including gas, to reduce greenhouse gas emission in line with science, and achieve its climate targets.
There is an exception: hydrogen made from renewable energy sources is truly zero-carbon and aligned with the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality target.
But while renewable hydrogen has a part to play in decarbonising the EU economy, this part is limited, and hydrogen is certainly no silver bullet for decarbonisation. It must not replace direct electrification with renewable energy, which is almost always more efficient than using hydrogen. In this short briefing, we look at the various ways hydrogen can be produced and the emissions they entail and avoid. We also look at the renewable energy resources available to produce hydrogen; how far renewable hydrogen can be used and in which sectors.