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Hydrogen — empowering Europe for a carbon-neutral future

Interview with Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking of the European Union

Bart Biebuyck

When looking at the EU’s energy needs in combination with its climate and economic challenges, fuel cell and hydrogen technologies have great potential. Both the European Green Deal and the European Commission’s proposals to address the Covid-19 economic aftermath, for example in its ‘Next Generation’ proposals, have identified hydrogen as an essential pathway towards the EU’s energy transformation and climate ambitions. But how to stimulate and propel these new technologies towards substantial use and application in the future? Bart Biebuyck is the Executive Director of the EU’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking and therefore the right person to interview to get an overview on where the EU stands in the development and deployment of these technologies. And how the EU can keep its edge in the world in this area.

A Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking to bring ecosystems together

What is in a name? And what is behind a name? When discussing this, Bart Biebuyck understands that FCH JU might not be an easy acronym to come to grips with for the general audience. ‘FHC stands for Fuel Cells and Hydrogen and JU for Joint Undertaking, reflecting that we are a public-private partnership.

That means that the public side is working together with the private side in order to accelerate the development and introduction of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies to the market.’

He explains that in 2008 the policy makers decided to work together with industry in this area. ‘Why? On the one hand because industry knows the technology very well and is in the best position to say what they need. On the other hand, the FCH ecosystem at that time was very fragmented — many countries, some fantastic researchers, you had some SMEs here and there. And it was considered important to bring this sector together to really build an ecosystem, which at that time did not exist.’ On that occasion industry and the research communities organised themselves into two umbrella organisations, called Hydrogen Europe Industry and Hydrogen Europe Research. ‘The public side is represented by the European Commission, with three directorates: DG Research and Innovation (RTD), DG Energy (ENER), DG Mobility and Transport (MOVE).

One of the characteristics of the sector is the high number of SMEs, says Biebuyck. ‘Today 50 % of our industry is still SMEs. In a way, we are very important for the SMEs, for their survival and development. The SMEs are also at the core of innovation. Through our instrument (the Joint Undertaking) we bring the SMEs together and we put them in contact with bigger companies — who are interested in investing in them.’ He considers this a very positive development, since SMEs need money to be able to grow, to invest in manufacturing and bring their products to the market.

Another essential point that Bart Biebuyck identifies is that the Joint Undertaking’s role is to bring the ecosystems together and to set the framework for them to build up the plan, the roadmap for the sector. The Joint Undertaking helps to build trust in the sector and to bring private investment into the sector. As a third point, he sees the Joint Undertaking as a flexible and smart instrument which can bring benefits to citizens quickly. ‘We are a small organisation; we can very quickly address the changes in the market. What you see today is what we realised we could do fast, thanks to our flexibility. For example, we brought hydrogen buses to the market and the citizens can now sit in the bus, they can feel, they can experience this new technology.

He adds two other examples relating to the direct benefits for citizens: ‘Let’s take the garbage trucks projects. We now have projects building trucks for, I think, eight cities in Europe, to be put there for use and demonstration.’ He points out that people will benefit from them since there is no noise, no harmful emissions. The advantages for the workers on those trucks are just as important. ‘The people who walk behind such a truck told us that it was a big benefit for them. First, there is a healthier environment for them to work in. No emissions, but also less noise, so it is easier to talk to each other. This gives them a much better working environment as a whole.’

Another example relates to the FCH JU’s contribution to building a network of hydrogen refuelling stations in Europe — which is essential for putting the vehicles on the road. ‘We have supported more than 50 % of the stations that are in Europe now. We have around 140 stations in Europe. The majority are in Germany. People started to notice that because we are building the hydrogen refuelling stations in the existing fuel stations. Initially it was a separate station, because we needed to gain experience, but now, for example, Shell and Total are building and integrating the hydrogen refuelling systems within their normal fuel stations. When people go to refuel they see those stations, they can see that another technology is coming.’

Bringing hydrogen to market use

The citizens looking to buy hydrogen vehicles have long been confronted with a chicken and egg type of dilemma: as long as there is no distribution network, there is less incentive to buy a new technology dependent on such a network. Bart Biebuyck agrees that there is such a dilemma. ‘The way we try to solve that in our projects is working with fleets, such as bus or taxi fleets, or for the police. For example in London and Hamburg, or in Paris, where they aim to have a fleet of 600 hydrogen taxis. They are buying a higher number of hydrogen cars and then it makes sense for us to build these fuelling stations.’

The idea is that if you have several of these ‘hydrogen fuel hubs’ you can at some point consider connecting them by putting a station in between. ‘This is the strategy we are applying at the moment, which seems to be quite successful. The biggest challenge is to make sure you have enough uptake, otherwise those stations will, at some point, disappear, or not be maintained anymore.’ He adds that this is now a strategy that seems to be working out fine.

How important the refuelling stations are comes across in the great enthusiasm with which Bart Biebuyck shares a success story that puts the EU in front of the competition in this area. ‘Nowadays Europe is really the world leader in this technology related to hydrogen refuelling stations.

A company in Denmark, with our support, has built the first factory of the world for producing hydrogen refuelling stations on a production line.’ He proudly calls it the FCH JU’s ‘Apple story.’ ‘These were four students, starting in their parents’ garage, working with hydrogen — building the plans for hydrogen refuelling stations, generators, several other applications. At some point, since they had to focus, they decided to concentrate on hydrogen refuelling stations. They have been involved in our programme from the very start and they have been growing significantly in the past years.’ With a laugh, he adds that now they have about a hundred people working to produce 300 refuelling stations per year. ‘They have contracts in Korea, in the USA and also in Europe, of course. It is a great success for us! Two years ago, the CEO of the company came to the European Parliament to thank the parliament, saying “Without Europe we would never be where we are today.” It was a nice story!’

Source: Literator/Shutterstock

Besides availability, another aspect that hydrogen is often linked with is safety. Bart Biebuyck is very explicit: ‘In our projects safety is always the number one priority.’ He gives an example of this aspect related to cars. ‘There is absolutely no problem, never had an issue with a hydrogen car. Why? The standards that have been set for example for the tanks: normally they are built to withstand double the pressure, so 1500 bar, of the 700 bar a tank will get when refuelled.’ He gives a rather unusual example of how the tank pressure is tested sometimes in practice through an impact test. ‘They shoot with a Kalashnikov at the tank. And the outside of the tank should not show any cracks. After they do the test, they cut the part and check if there are any micro-cracks in it. There are none!’ He explains that these tanks are made out of incredibly strong carbon. And that there are similarly high safety requirements which are applied to other aspects, for example, to prevent leakage. ‘Due to these safety standards hydrogen cars can go into parking garages, unlike LNG fuelled cars.’

Leveraging €100 million for calls for hydrogen proposals annually…for carbon neutrality and job creation

Speaking about numbers and funds available to the JU to promote projects and maintain its platform function, Bart Biebuyck specifies that annually the JU has about €90 to 100 million available for calls for proposals. ‘This is what we do, the backbone of our activities: support innovation and industry financially by launching calls. At the moment we have a few more than 1000 beneficiaries in our portfolio — SMEs, research institutes that benefit from our calls.’ He adds that the leverage effect of the JU funds is close to 3: ‘Overall, for every euro of public money around €3 of private money has been put in. It depends how you look at it. You have a direct leverage effect of 1 to 1; if we include the additional investments, we get an effect of 1 to 3.’

These investments also have a substantial bearing on job creation. The Executive Director separates two aspects here. ‘You have new jobs, net jobs. But you also have replacement jobs. We are, of course, mainly in the area of replacement jobs. Why? Because we need to move from the fossil fuel industry to a non-fossil fuel industry.’ Relating this to a sector already discussed — the transport sector — he explains that to move from diesel to fuel cell technology, the workers on the production lines need to change to another type of technology.

‘But you somehow safeguard those people’s jobs. Because, if we did not invest in zero emissions technology in Europe maybe they would lose their jobs. With this need to change, it is very important to have training programmes to support that change, to enable that transition to happen.’

“The steel industry (…) have realised they need hydrogen to decarbonise, to make low carbon steel, or green steel.”

Speaking in numbers, Bart Biebuyck specifies that there around 60 000 jobs in Europe in this field. ‘A couple of years back we were at just a few thousand. Especially in the last four to five years we have seen, thanks also to the 2015 Paris Agreement, a very steep increase. We see many politicians, but also big companies, suddenly realising that they need hydrogen for their decarbonisation targets.’ With the European Green Deal, this realisation regarding the need for hydrogen technology has increased. ‘When we talk about trucks, trains, maritime, aviation — it is clear that without hydrogen it just does not work. There is no other technology that can provide zero emissions. Policymakers understand that they, that we, need hydrogen!’ He explains that for cars you might have several types of technology but that for high and intensive use vehicles hydrogen is the solution. ‘You can choose natural gas but that is not zero emission. It is less CO2, but it is not zero emission. The higher you go — towards heavy-duty transport — the clearer it is that you need hydrogen. That is something that everybody agrees with now.’

Hydrogen molecule. Source: Anusorn Nakdee/Shutterstock

Another application of hydrogen, much less in the public eye, relates to heavy industry. But it clearly is a priority in the portfolio of the FCH JU. Bart Biebuyck: ‘The steel industry is responsible for 7% of global emissions. They have realised they need hydrogen to decarbonise, to make low carbon steel, or green steel.’ Bart Biebuyck is clearly knowledgeable on the big developments taking place in that sector. He gives the example of a steel company in Linz, Austria, where, with the support of his JU, a 6-megawatt electrolyser is being built. ‘We want to demonstrate it can be done. Even if 6 megawatt is very small — big for the hydrogen sector but small for the steel industry, looking at their needs of 1 gigawatt. But we will get there!’ He explains his optimism for scaling up rapidly, indicating that ten years ago electrolysers fuelled by hydrogen were on a kW scale. ‘Our latest project in the Netherlands is 20 megawatt and much cheaper, we have reduced the cost enormously. When we reached the 4 megawatt size, we saw the big industries like steel, food, but also refineries and sometimes cement and fertiliser industries getting interested, with a price starting to approach commercialisation.’ For him it is clear that now a number of them are willing to try it, to build those electrolysers in their plants. ’We have a very nice project also in Austria in the food industry — an industrial bakery. Sometimes we forget, but food creates CO2 as well. If we have 800 g of bred, it is equal to 800 g of CO2. Imagine all the bread we eat!’

“If we can get renewable energy at that target price, we can produce green hydrogen equal to the price of the grey hydrogen — fossil fuel hydrogen.”

Milestones towards carbon-free hydrogen production

The production of hydrogen can be done in several ways and to produce this without CO2 requires energy from renewable resources, such as wind and solar. Bart Biebuyck sees very positive developments here. ‘The biggest costs of green hydrogen are electricity costs, and we see the costs for renewable energy from wind dropping enormously. In Portugal for example — there they were going for less than 10 cents per kWh of renewable electricity. For us this is enough. If we can get renewable energy at that target price, we can produce green hydrogen equal to the price of the grey hydrogen — fossil fuel hydrogen. But it is not like that everywhere yet.’

“If we can get renewable energy at that target price, we can produce green hydrogen equal to the price of the grey hydrogen — fossil fuel hydrogen.”

At the same time, he also sees Europe’s limitations here. ‘When we talk about green hydrogen, it is clear that in Europe we will never have enough renewables for all the hydrogen we need.’ He sees two solutions for that. ‘First — and an immediate solution — is to produce blue hydrogen. To produce blue hydrogen, you use natural gas as a base, but you capture the carbon and store it by CCS — Carbon capture and storage.’ He sees this happening in the Netherlands and in the UK: there they will do CCS immediately. ‘Simply because there will be a huge demand for hydrogen and we will not have enough renewables. To avoid stopping the market’s development and to continue the decarbonisation of our society we will probably need blue hydrogen, as an intermediate phase. However, blue hydrogen will not be there for eternity. Maybe 15 to 20 years.’

Regarding the second solution, he refers to a statement from the European Commission’s Vice-President, Frans Timmermans: ‘He said he has a dream that one day we can obtain green hydrogen from Africa. And this is the other, more long-term solution: importing green hydrogen.’ He adds that Italy is already discussing with Algeria about bringing green hydrogen to Europe through a pipeline. ‘We already have infrastructure there, pipelines for natural gas between Africa and Europe — between Morocco and Spain, Algeria and Italy.’ He refers to other regions in the world, such as Chile, Oman or Australia. ‘There are many areas where you have a lot of sun or wind or both. Much more than in Europe. In the Sahara, producing electricity with a solar panel, that solar panel would generate three times more electricity than a similar solar panel here in Brussels would do, simply because of the strength of the sun.’

“… the (…) more long-term solution: importing green hydrogen.”

When speaking about buying green hydrogen, certification enters the picture. Bart Biebuyck: ‘We need to make sure that the definition of green hydrogen that we have in Europe is the same in Africa, Australia, etc. Therefore, we need a certification process for the hydrogen and we need to agree how to define the production and the leakage of CO2 in the whole process. We want this definition to be the same anywhere in the world.’ He explains the steps that FCH JU has taken towards this. ‘Several years ago we started a project called CertifHy. With CertifHy we want to provide guarantees (of origin) for the hydrogen and to ensure that the EU Member States and other countries across the world align.’ It turns out that CertifHy entails a platform for discussions between the stakeholders in order to arrive at common definitions and agreement on setting-up such a scheme. ‘It will be very important for Europe that we agree on these common definitions soon, and also the trade agreements for hydrogen imports. We, as Europe, can set standards here because we are leading in hydrogen technology.’

Possible impediments on the route planned

To what extent will external — rather unforeseen — factors influence the development of hydrogen technology? At the time of the interview, oil prices were at an all-time low, due to the Covid-19 conditions. Bart Biebuyck believes that if such a factor comes into play, it will only be temporary. ‘We have many policies already in place that will drive hydrogen uptake.’ He refers to the European Green Deal again, which contains specific targets for the change to hydrogen. ‘Also, the Renewable Energy Directive — RED II — was very important, changing the calculation of grey hydrogen by refineries for the reduction of CO2. Before RED II the refineries could use grey hydrogen, because the refineries need hydrogen for desulphurisation of the fuel. With RED II the upstream emissions will be taken into account. So if they can reduce upstream by using green hydrogen instead of grey hydrogen, then they can reach their targets at a cheaper price.’

Here as well, there are big numbers hidden behind the technical aspects. ‘Normally, for one refinery, if they want to replace grey hydrogen with green they would need to install one gigawatt in electrolysers. It is huge! If you take the number of refineries in Europe plus the number of steel plants, you can easily calculate that by 2030 we would need around 40 gigawatt of electrolysers to be built in Europe to supply all the hydrogen in order to reach the targets that we have put forward for 2030. Because the Green Deal says: 50 to 52% CO2 reduction is necessary by 2030. Without hydrogen it will not work! They need to have it.’ The Executive Director is pleased to see that the politicians are realising this more and more, referring to the Commission’s President von der Leyen’s speeches, underlining the need for partnerships on hydrogen.

Behind these targets lies the challenge of having sufficient capacity to meet the high-tech and high volume needs. Bart Biebuyck indeed has a concern there. ‘At the moment the industrial capacity is not available to do that. But that is ok, because our sector is based on working with SMEs. When we look at the electrolyser industry, from a technology point of view, we have a three-year technical lead compared to the rest of the world.’ He explains that in Europe production factories might now be approaching a yearly production capacity of one gigawatt per year, all together. ‘The calculation is easy — if we need to build 40 gigawatt in ten years, we will have to scale-up. This is what is happening at the moment, with big companies investing in SMEs and building bigger factories. Take, for example, Hydrogenics, a small electrolyser company in Belgium, with less than 100 employees, bought by a big U.S. company. Or McPhy, a French SME, bought by a big player in Europe. These are the dynamics we need to see in order for the SMEs to be able to scale up.’ He underlines that for this scaling up process support from the European Commission, from the European Investment Bank, will be crucial, providing loans to these SMEs and ensuring that the regulatory framework is crystal clear. ‘Fortunately there is huge support for this inside the Commission.’

One sector, considered highly polluting and not hindered by CO2 taxes yet, is the aviation industry. Bart Biebuyck is optimistic that hydrogen will soon offer solutions there too. ‘Within a few weeks we will release a study on hydrogen in aviation , which we did together with another joint undertaking — Clean Sky, an example of the intensive cooperation we have with other joint undertakings. There is a huge potential for hydrogen in this sector, to achieve more energy efficiency than we have today. I cannot say much more about it since the study needs to be finalised, but it is definitely something to keep an eye on since this can change the industry.’

He believes that Europe could be leading in this area, too. ‘We have many regional flights. If Europe really wants to be the first continent to be carbon neutral we should demonstrate what can be done in that area and some flight lines, for example, should decarbonise. But this is pure hydrogen, zero emissions, flying, of course.’ The Executive Director refers to another project his JU has, the so-called e-kerosene project. ‘We will produce green hydrogen to help to make the e-kerosene; but again — this is an intermediate step. It will reduce the amount of CO2 emitted by the kerosene. ‘He adds that this e-kerosene will be used in KLM flights. ‘This is part of our project in the Northern Netherlands. That region is part of what we call “Hydrogen Valley.” Back in 2019 we launched a call for building the first Hydrogen Valley in the world in Europe. The Americans have their Silicon Valley, we decided to build the first Hydrogen Valley in the world, in Europe.’

Launching the Hydrogen Valleys

The Hydrogen Valley aspiration goes far beyond e-kerosene. Bart Biebuyck explains that the JU launched it in 2019 but the planning started back in 2016. ‘We contacted all the regions in Europe and we were asking — do you want to do something with hydrogen? Do you want to work with us? Some regions wanted to go all the way — to become the Hydrogen Valley. We then launched a call for €20 million. In the end we selected the Northern Netherlands: it was the best proposal of the six regions which applied.’ He adds that the main criteria for selection was the ability to demonstrate the sectoral integration aspect, meaning you have to show that transport, energy, hydrogen production, hydrogen distribution, heating and cooling of buildings are all done by using hydrogen. ‘We wanted an integrated project. It is an entire system, not only demonstrating 20 hydrogen trucks or 20 buses. No, they had to demonstrate storage underground, to demonstrate production, etc. It is nice to see that Germany has replicated this initiative, and launched a call for Hydrogen Valleys in Germany. Now two areas in Germany are Hydrogen Valleys as well.’

The Hydrogen Valley initiative recently went global. ‘In April 2020 we launched a global platform for Hydrogen Valleys. When we presented the idea at a global level, we saw that the USA, Japan and Australia said that was a fantastic idea, they wanted to join.’ That is why the JU set-up this platform for Hydrogen Valleys, so that countries can exchange ideas, learn from each other. ‘A Hydrogen Valley in Australia will connect to us on that platform and we will exchange good practice, thereby accelerating the uptake of the hydrogen society. Because it is clear that only one hydrogen valley cannot do it, it needs to be a worldwide initiative.’

Making the energy revolution happen

Bart Biebuyck is clearly a believer in hydrogen and able to transfer his enthusiasm for this solution to others. He had been working with hydrogen solutions well before he became the JU’s Executive Director in 2016. ‘I started to work on hydrogen cars with Toyota, when the first prototypes appeared back in 2007. We launched a car in 2014/ 2015. Working on that I became a true believer in this technology. Now it is confirmed — we need that technology, but back in 2007 that belief was not there yet.’ He believes we need hydrogen, as a society. ‘So we launched the first car in Europe back in 2015 and I was building the first refuelling station in Belgium. But I thought: “Toyota alone cannot do it; this has to be done on the largest scale and across Europe.”’ He found it obvious that there was a very important role to play here for the EU, to make sure that hydrogen technology can be rolled out all over Europe. ’And I wanted to be part of that! I wanted to have impact, to make sure that Europe would reach its decarbonisation targets. To achieve that, I was and I am convinced that hydrogen needs to be part of it. My ambition to achieve that was — for me — the main driver to join the JU.’

“… now, with the Covid-19 pandemic (…) We have a unique opportunity now to invest in the right technologies, to do it right.”

He foresees, after a digital revolution, an energy revolution taking place. ‘No doubt this will happen. I think that now, with the Covid-19 pandemic, we will see how it evolves. It can go in two directions. First, it can really accelerate it. If you really want to support the economy, to get it back to where it was before and even beyond, we will need to have huge investments. We have a unique opportunity now to invest in the right technologies, to do it right. This is an ideal moment, to put money now into creating jobs, into creating growth, while at the same time making sure that we will reach the Green Deal targets. You know that for our industry we estimate that in Europe, by 2050, we can create 5.4 million jobs!’ He also believes that people will realise that, with the current health concerns, climate will become more and more important. ‘Clean air is important for our health and we should invest in that. If, at the same time, you can say «Look — we can generate jobs and growth with this», I think we will get enough support from the public to go in that direction.’

“… for our industry we estimate that in Europe, by 2050, we can create 5.4 million jobs!”

He believes that support will increase when people can ‘touch’ the new technology, for example by buying a hydrogen car. ‘What you will see in the next five years is that more and more car manufacturers will come out with a limited number of hydrogen cars as a limited series, different brands focusing on different models. After 2025 I foresee real mass production, with 100 000 being the number that you need to be commercial.’

To arrive at this, and to achieve the other targets set for hydrogen, the FCH JU Executive Director believes the EU has to cherish the partnerships created in this area, and adapt the budget it wants to invest. ‘We are now talking about the next multiannual financial framework — the next MFF — in which this hydrogen partnership is really strengthened’. This also means talking about budget: ‘At the moment, for the next partnership the industry is requesting the doubling of the budget. Of course, you can say it is very easy — everybody wants more money. However, in our case it is very different. We are asking for more money because we have more tasks than before.’

Bart Biebuyck gives some convincing examples related to scaling up. ‘If I want to demonstrate one car, I might have to provide support of €20 000. But if we are scaling up and extending, we need to think about planes, trains, ships. If I want to demonstrate one ship, it may cost €10 million.’ Another aspect is to show that the technology works in different places. ‘With more budget we will also be able to demonstrate projects in Eastern Europe. This is crucial, to avoid a two-speed Europe, to make sure that hydrogen technology will be introduced in all 28 Member States.’ He underlines that the Member States share the same visions but it is still a bit more difficult for Eastern Europe to get there. He gives an example of a project in Slovenia, in Velenje, a region traditionally working with coal and that has selected hydrogen to change, giving their young coal miners a new future with hydrogen-related jobs, enabling them to make that transition. ‘So we need to give them extra support. Another argument for extra budget.’

Working together to keep a leading edge

When discussing where he sees a role for the ECA in this transition to a more hydrogen-based society, the JU director touches upon the organisational aspects of the transition. ‘Hydrogen is hot. Every DG wants to do something on hydrogen, with the support of their Commissioners. You will see a lot of initiatives starting, and that is where I also see a risk.’ He explains that today about 95% of all the European projects on hydrogen are managed — or guided — through the JU. ‘This means most knowledge is centralised. If suddenly everybody starts to work on hydrogen it will be chaos.’

“Whoever (…) wants to know something about the state of the art in hydrogen (…) come to the JU to have the latest state of affairs on hydrogen.”

This does not mean he is pleading that everything is done by the JU. ‘No, I am pleading for a one-stop-shop. Everybody wanting to do something on hydrogen should contact us and we can say — this project is not for us but you need to go to the Connecting Europe Facility — CEF. Or to the LIFE programme, the EU’s funding instrument for environment and climate action.’ Another ambition Bart Biebuyck has is for his JU to become a knowledge hub on hydrogen in Europe. ‘Whoever, in the Member States, at EU level, in the ECA, wants to know something about the state of the art in hydrogen, knows that they can come to the JU to have the latest state of affairs on hydrogen.’ He hopes that the ECA will support the JU in this ambition to be the one-stop-shop and the EU’s knowledge hub on hydrogen. ‘I think this would create clarity for many players, and also for the general public, who want assurance that every euro spent on hydrogen is spent efficiently, avoiding parallel initiatives and overlapping projects.’

He also expects new technologies to appear, something very much supported by the JU. For example, new production technologies. ‘We support innovation projects looking into different ways to produce hydrogen. For example, making hydrogen directly from sunlight. But this is still just out of the laboratory. For sure we will see new technologies coming into production, storage, other ways of transportation.’ And indeed, on the JU’s website you can find a long list of projects, which cover different areas. ‘The key point now is to start already with the technology we have, to create a market, the economy and the jobs, the growth we want.’

Source: Petrmalinak/Shutterstock

One of the JU’s objectives is to further reduce the costs. ‘Because today, hydrogen technology is still a bit more expensive than conventional technology. We need to work on that. One way, of course, is by scaling-up. No doubt. But another way is also by looking into new materials, new means of production.’ He refers again to electrolysers. ‘At the same time we should not forget to develop our second and third generation hydrogen solutions. Because — what we need to avoid — very important — is that other parts of the world take over our lead. They might think: “Let’s give the first generation to Europe, we will go immediately to the second generation and then we will take over where Europe left off.” That we need to avoid by scaling-up and at the same time developing further innovation, because the strength of Europe is innovation by working together. We should keep that, it gives us the leading edge.’

“…the strength of Europe is innovation by working together.”



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European Court of Auditors

European Court of Auditors

Articles from the European Court of Auditors, #EU's external auditor & independent guardian of the EU's finances.