Decarbonising the industry blog series: Green Hydrogen

June 25, 2021

Europe is the world’s leading economic zone, putting the transition to net zero emissions at the core of its strategy. The plans do not only focus on direct climate goals, but also act as an economic and social growth engine.

Electrification and large-scale deployment of renewables play a major role but have limitations due to their intermittent nature. Enter green hydrogen. By converting renewable energy into green hydrogen we not only create (long term) storage, but also the possibility to decarbonise hard to electrify industrial processes and power green feedstock in chemical processes.

European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center (EGHAC)

In order to boost the green hydrogen economy at the scale and speed required to achieve climate neutrality, the EGHAC is stepping away from a hydrogen production cost approach. This traditional way of working means that there is the multiplication of bilateral agreements along the value-chain, resulting in each party needing to optimise its margin in each individual transaction. This leads to uncertainties, additional risks, and suboptimal economic outcomes. As such, the price of green hydrogen could be a show-stopper.

Instead, the EGHAC supports and develops projects which pursue a value-chain approach and offer CO2 free end-products on the market, at an accepted premium, in key high-emitting economic sectors (e.g. steel, shipping, food).

This value-chain approach is about companies partnering in one industrial venture. The profitability of this new venture becomes the main target and the competitiveness of the CO2-free end-product is the dominant factor. A great example of this value chain thinking is EGHAC’s first flagship project H2 Green Steel. An industrial initiative in which EIT InnoEnergy, amongst other strategic investors, creates a new green steel producer from inception. The integrated business case, driven by demand from off takers like Scania, includes cheap renewable power, use of green hydrogen to process the iron and innovative downstream steel manufacturing, altogether delivering competitive decarbonised steel at scale.

Hydrogen Start-ups

In addition to the focus of the EGHAC on large scale industrial projects, EIT InnoEnergy supports several start-ups working to advance the technology around hydrogen production and use. The Celcibus catalyst, for example, can lower the cost for the fuel cell stack by up to 30% with a more sustainable footprint. Danish start-up Hymeth is working on an alkaline electrolyser without precious metals, while French Sylfen produces a Smart Energy Hub, enabling energy autonomy and flexibility in houses by converting excess renewable energy into hydrogen for later use.

Bringing both worlds together at this year’s The Business Booster

At this year’s “The Business Booster” in Berlin we bring both the start-ups as well as the European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center together. Join the parallel session to get inspired on how the value chain approach to decarbonisation could benefit your industry and meet our entrepreneurs who display will their new technologies. Over 40 renewable generation assets will be present as well as 15 start-ups from the hydrogen value chain.