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CertifHy Succeeds in Establishing the first EU-wide Guarantee of Origin for Green Hydrogen

The CertifHy Project, that is run by HINICIO, has finalized its work on developing a framework of the first EU-wide guarantees of origin (GO) for Green Hydrogen. At the CertifHy event on 19th October 2016 in Brussels the CertifHy consortium presented the project results and next steps to a large audience, consisting of leading industry, policy makers, industry associations and a standardization body. Additionally, speakers from a wide-range of international leading organizations such as European Commission, FCH JU (Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking), Hydrogen Europe, Air Liquide, BMW, Hydrogenics, Ekoenergy, Association of Issuing Bodies, Linde and Uniper looked at the topic from different point of views.

‘A promising EU-project’

From November 2014 until October 2016 the CertifHy project identified a framework for the first EU-wide GO for Green Hydrogen including a definition for green and low-carbon hydrogen, a detailed proposal for a GO system and a roadmap for implementation. The project is funded by FCU JU, the public-private partnership that manages H2020 funds in regards to hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Bart Biebuyck, the executive director of FCH JU, stated during the CertifHy event: “CertifHy is a promising project with good support from the industry”. The project is coordinated by Hinicio, with the Dutch Energy Research Center ECN, TÜV SÜD and Ludwig Bölkow Systemtechnik as consortium partners. A large variety of global players support it as affiliated partners such as Air Liquide, Air Products, AkzoNobel, Areva H2Gen, BMW, Colruyt Group, EDF, Group Machiels, Hydrogenics, Linde, OMV, Shell, Total and Uniper that were part of the on-going step-by-step consulting process throughout the last two years. The project leader Wouter Vanhoudt declares: “I am delighted with the outcome of this project, which has brought together a wide range of specialist, leading energy utilities, automobile manufacturers and innovative companies, driven by the common goal to pioneer a unique European green hydrogen guarantee of origin scheme, which will ensure end users the quality of the product throughout Europe. This scheme will accelerate green hydrogen market take off in Europe and I call upon all policy makers to help us to implement our roadmap in the upcoming months. At Hinicio, we are ready to take the next steps forward to transform the trial. I wish to thank our partners at LBST, ECN and TÜV SÜD, for their fantastic work and cooperation all along the project. We have been unifying the hydrogen sector as whole on a difficult topic to find consensus on, and have in the process forced allies with stakeholders of other energy carriers, NGOs.”

A new market for Green Hydrogen

Global demand for hydrogen is foreseen to reach 50 Million tons by 2025 mainly used in industry and transport. It is predicted to grow 3,5 percent per year. Today 95 percent of all hydrogen is produced from fossil resources. For hydrogen to become a climate-friendly alternative to fossil fuels, it is necessary to ensure minimal impact on natural resources in the whole life cycle. It is expected that 50 – 60 percent of all hydrogen for the growing market of transportation will originate from renewable or low-carbon sources by 2030. In order to allow Green hydrogen to be traded, a tracking system ensuring the quality of hydrogen is necessary. The proposed GO for Green Hydrogen decouples the green attribute from the physical flow of the product and makes Green Hydrogen available EU-wide, independently from its production sites.

Potential impact of Green Hydrogen

Green Hydrogen can help Europe become the number one in renewables and reach EU targets of cutting 80 – 95 % of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Green Hydrogen GOs can boost demand and supply of Green Hydrogen, create market pull, lead to transparency and consumer empowerment and enhance the business case for Green Hydrogen.  “It can help decarbonizing transport and industry and increasing consumption of Green Hydrogen”, as highlighted by Guy De Reals from Air Liquide and Bernardo Mota from BMW during their presentations at the CertifHy event. Furthermore, a GO for Green Hydrogen can enhance renewable energy use and can contribute to the development of energy storage and energy security.

The Future of Green Hydrogen GOs

After having developed the framework for Green Hydrogen and a roadmap for implementation, the next steps are to strengthening the momentum by building a supervisory board, assuring legal safeguard and creating buy-in for the scheme. At the same time, it is necessary to build the GO infrastructure and test it by pilot projects. “It is an ambitious, but realistic roadmap. It will require a lot of energy and funding to realize it.”, as Philip Good from the European Commission stated during the panel discussion. That way green hydrogen can become an important cornerstone of tomorrow’s energy system.

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