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The crucial role of low-carbon hydrogen production to achieve Europe’s climate ambition: A technical assessment

Hydrogen has emerged as a central narrative of the European Green Deal. With the legally-binding objective of climate neutrality by 2050, set by the European Climate Law and the increased climate target for 2030, the need to speed up the efforts towards climate change mitigation is evident. The EU is therefore relying on hydrogen as a way to decarbonise energy-intensive industries, energy and transport sectors.

The EU hydrogen strategy, published in July 2020, highlights that both renewable and low-carbon hydrogen with carbon capture and storage (CCS) are included in the strategy, although in the longterm perspective the European commission foresees a focus on production of renewable hydrogen.
It remains clear that low-carbon hydrogen produced from reformed natural gas with CCS will 
play a key role in paving the way towards a clean hydrogen economy for Europe, as the only opportunity to deliver early, large-scale quantities of hydrogen to industries and thus kickstarting a cost-efficient decarbonisation.

With many initiatives announced at EU and national level in support of hydrogen, and an everincreasing evidence base to support hydrogen deployment across the hydrogen value chain, this report argues for a technology neutral approach to hydrogen production and presents an overview of the role of low-carbon hydrogen production alongside renewable hydrogen, in terms of production methods, costs, scalability and timelines to operation.
 

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