Towards an EU Hydrogen Economy: Policy and Energy Security Perspectives [GGP]
Hydrogen is positioned as a strong candidate for fulfilling the carbon-neutrality objective set out in the European Green Deal, provided that it is able to compete on a level-playing field with other technologies favoring sector coupling. Pushing the envisioned hydrogen economy past its tipping point necessitates an EU regulatory environment that is conducive to it, the repurposing of existing large-scale EU networks, along with additional investments, and strategic partnerships with the EU’s third-country suppliers. This paper, published by the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), aims to outline the role of hydrogen as a component in the decarbonization of the European natural gas sector in the context of an integrated energy system.
On a policy level, it argues that conventional gas market integration, along with the associated regulatory framework, can facilitate the adaptation of conventional gas market concepts to prospective hydrogen clusters. On an energy security level, it argues that hydrogen trade is poised to reshape Europe’s geopolitical energy map, triggering the emergence of new suppliers. However, it could, to a certain extent, also depoliticize energy supply, since the formation of a decentralized system in which hydrogen is domestically generated will likely make the EU more flexible in relation to stress incidents, as well as limiting the Bloc’s constant need to cultivate external gas relations for supply security reasons, as is the case within the current commoditized market model.
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