The H2eart for Europe initiative, currently composed of eleven Storage System Operators (SSOs) from across Europe, announced a pioneering pledge to expedite the decarbonisation of the European energy system in the presence of Executive Vice-President of the Commission, Maroš Šefčovič. This initiative commits to deploying underground hydrogen storage (UHS) technology, aiming to pave the way for a sustainable energy future in line with the EU’s 2050 targets and intermediary milestones.
Commissioner Šefčovič welcomed the initiative, stating: “We must be aware of the fierce global competition in today’s current geopolitical context. We cannot be naïve with our green policies. Instead, we must benefit from the first mover advantage, and show model cooperation between us. Thanks to alliances like H2eart for Europe, we can really use the European political weight, and the innovativeness of our business leaders.Collaboration around underground hydrogen storage is key in decarbonising and securing the European future.”
H2eart for Europe operates as a collective force with a shared vision. The focus is steadfast on delivering the required storage infrastructure to fulfil RePowerEU and other climate targets by 2030 and beyond.
Recognising hydrogen’s pivotal role in Europe’s decarbonisation and the importance of storage infrastructure, this effort aims to facilitate a stable supply and streamline the integration of renewable.
Addressing the pressing challenge of climate change, many EU member states are progressively increasing the utilisation of intermittently produced renewable energy sources (RES). To maintain a steady energy supply, clean storage options capable of providing necessary flexibility are imperative. Hydrogen stands out as a crucial flexibility vector, particularly in the context of long-term energy storage required to bridge seasonal consumption differences.
At present, there exists a substantial gap of 36 TWh between identified flexibility needs and currently planned project pipeline for 2030. Bridging this gap necessitates investments ranging around between 18 and 36 billion euros. The acceleration of hydrogen storage projects planned to meet the projected demand by 2030 and 2050 is urgently needed.
The alliance commits to aiding EU members and regulatory bodies in formulating suitable policies which recognise Underground Hydrogen Storage (UHS) as a fundamental element for achieving a decarbonised energy ecosystem. Proposed policy measures may take the form of a dedicated EU Hydrogen Storage Strategy, aimed at giving hydrogen storage the necessary attention for an effective scale-up. This includes streamlined permitting processes, concrete hydrogen storage targets, and provisions for comprehensive, fact-based network planning, accounting for the potential repurposing of existing infrastructure.
H2eart for Europe’s alliance members are confident in their capacity to spearhead the scale-up of UHS projects and attract investments essential for this pivotal sector’s growth. They see themselves as the best-positioned entities to drive this substantial infrastructure development and are committed to make a lasting change.