REPowerEU | More than a million tonnes of green hydrogen will be used for gas blending in 2030, says
European Commission claims adding up to 20% H2 to methane grids could vanquish 3% of Russian gas exports — but with a multi-billion-euro price tag for end users.
The European Commission (EC) is expecting to see 1.3 million tonnes (mt) of green hydrogen to be blended into the natural gas network by 2030, according to a document published as part of its European REPowerEU package announced on Wednesday — raising the spectre of even higher heating costs for consumers with only marginal emissions reductions.
REPowerEU called for 20mt of renewable H2 to be utilised inside the bloc by 2030, with a focus on replacing all current grey hydrogen production. But the European Commission’s own internal analysis — as seen in a so-called Staff Working Document — suggest that it believes neither will be achieved by the end of the decade.
A table showing forecasted hydrogen use by sector suggests that only 16.2mt of hydrogen would be consumed within the EU in 2030 — with 2.2mt used by refineries and 3.2mt by the chemicals sector, the two main uses of highly polluting grey hydrogen today.
A further 3.6mt would be used for industrial heat, 2.3mt for transport, 1.8mt for synthetic fuels, 1.5mt for blast furnaces, 105,000 tonnes for power generation, and 1.3mt for blending.
In its analysis, the Commission said that 1.3 million tonnes of green hydrogen blended into the European gas network would replace Russian gas to the tune of 4.7 billion cubic metres — around 3% of total Russian volumes imported in 2021.