At the European Hydrogen Week, which started on Monday afternoon, November 20, the President of the European Commission gave an update on the actions being taken regarding hydrogen. She mentioned a partnership with Brazil and made some announcements about the European Hydrogen Bank.
Originally scheduled to speak from Brussels Expo, Ursula von der Leyen was detained by a meeting in Berlin with Chancellor Ola Scholz and President Emmanuel Macron. She therefore addressed the high-level conference via video. She began by pointing out that the hydrogen economy is booming, citing examples such as the buses running in Riga or Barcelona and the infrastructure being built in the port of Rotterdam. Ursula von der Leyen also mentioned the first flight with a liquid hydrogen aircraft in the skies over Slovenia. Europe has invested €17 billion to help 80 projects in different member states (about $18.6 billion).
“It is the dawn of the clean hydrogen era,” emphasised the President of the European Union. She also insisted on the need to go from niche to scale.
Second round of auctions for the European Hydrogen Bank
After mentioning the Green Deal and Repower EU, she went on to talk about the hydrogen bank. This week, the first auctions will be held to finance production projects with EU funds to the tune of €800 million (about $875 million). And Mrs von der Leyen has unveiled the next step. In spring 2024, she announced, the bank will launch a second round of auctions. And this time it will be for a total of €3 billion (about $3.3 billion). “It is a promise we made one year ago, and it is now becoming reality”, she continued.
In her speech, the President of Europe also alluded to the international scene. She hinted at the partnerships signed with Egypt, Kenya and Namibia which “have immense potential to produce clean energy, transform it into clean hydrogen, and then ship it to the world.” Mrs von der Leyen also mentioned discussions with Kazakhstan, Australia and Oman, before turning to Brazil. She referred to President Lula (who also spoke on video). She said that the European Union was supporting one of the biggest green hydrogen projects in the world, in the state of Piaui, to the tune of €2 billion (about $2.2 billion).
You can read the speech here. The video is available at the end of the speech.
Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King