In 2023, public funding of the hydrogen sector in Europe experienced ups and downs, especially influenced by external factors such as the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Despite these challenges, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe noted that there was a steady growth in awareness and commitment to move towards a more sustainable energy future with hydrogen as a key component in the European energy transition.
Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe, previews the future of green hydrogen after 2024. He highlights the urgent need to scale up projects with the final investment decision (FID), which would boost the supply and demand for green hydrogen in Europe. “We would like to see more projects having reached final investment decision (FID) and advancing to construction stage, therefore increasing the supply and demand of green and low carbon hydrogen in Europe” he said.
The executive emphasised the sector's main challenge: risk mitigation in projects. “We can crowd-in private capital into what are very capital-intensive new markets for hydrogen and its derivatives and carriers”. In addition, he noted that the sector “will need a lot more renewable capacity to produce sufficient green hydrogen. A lot of hydrogen producers are exploring the possibility of developing their own wind and solar farms to provide the electricity directly to their electrolysers”.
Chatzimarkakis stressed the crucial role of technological innovation in reducing costs and exploring new hydrogen applications. “More innovation will bring production costs down and reveal new applications for hydrogen. A healthy R&I sector for hydrogen is key to the sector's overall development,” he said. In addition, it identified decarbonisation of challenging industries, transport and energy storage as the most viable sectors for the application of green hydrogen.
Looking ahead to 2024, for Chatzimarkakis, the outlook seems to be positive, finding a turning point for green hydrogen, and the CEO of Hydrogen Europe expressed hope, reflecting positivity towards the future of the sector.