The Northwestern European region concentrates on 60% of hydrogen demand

International Energy Agency IEA studied in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom (the Northwestern European region) concentrated on the potential for hydrogen.
The study has been carried out by the IEA and the Clingendael to explore the status of hydrogen in the north-western European region and how the sector could evolve towards 2030.

The results of the hydrogen in Northwestern Europe

The north-western European region concentrates around 5% of global hydrogen demand and 60% of European demand. Today, hydrogen demand is concentrated in the refining and chemical industries, with more than 96% of production based on unabated fossil fuels or a by-product from industrial processes (also using fossil fuels).

Read more: EU members should have more flexibility to scale up the national and regional hydrogen markets

Moreover, the north-western European region is home to the largest industrial ports in Europe, where much of this hydrogen demand is located, and presents a well-developed natural gas infrastructure connecting these ports with other industrial hubs. This gas network could be partially repurposed to facilitate hydrogen delivery from production sites to demand centres.

Four priorities to be addressed in regional dialogues

It is noted in the report that countries in north-western Europe have made significant progress at a national level and have developed their visions about the role that hydrogen should play in their individual long-term energy strategies.

From the analysis in this report, CIEP and the IEA have identified four priorities to be addressed in regional dialogues:

  • Build on the large unused potential to cooperate on hydrogen in the north-western European region, which has already cooperative platforms in place (such as The North Seas Energy Cooperation), to identify opportunities that will develop cross-border initiatives (like the Important Projects of Common European Interest) and projects that could facilitate the development of an integrated hydrogen market in the region.
  • To identify what is needed to develop an integrated regional market. This could include development of a common regulatory framework and standards, as well as support mechanisms to reduce risk and coordinate the development of critical infrastructures.
  • Develop supporting schemes to advance technology frontiers and market size scale-up of all steps in the value chain in a coordinated way. Build on strengths of each country to develop an optimal distribution of supply and demand centres for hydrogen in the region and address early potential bottlenecks in infrastructure or manufacturing capacity.
  • Design a strategy to address emissions from existing hydrogen producing assets and simultaneously develop new production capacities for low-carbon hydrogen to meet demands originated in new applications.

Source: IEA