BRUSSELS, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) set out an ambitious plan on Wednesday to make the bloc as energy-efficient as possible by putting hydrogen at the heart of its strategy to become carbon neutral by 2050.
The approach unveiled by the European Commission aims to make Europe a global pioneer in the field of energy. It plans to use hydrogen as an alternative fuel source in energy intensive industries that are difficult to switch to cleaner energy, such as steel and chemical production.
Hydrogen produces no pollution when burned. It can be used as feedstock, fuel or energy carrier and storage medium and has many possible applications across the industrial, transport, power and buildings sectors.
The strategy outlines a comprehensive investment agenda, including investment in electrolysers, which are essential for the production of renewable hydrogen. On top of EU financing tools, the bloc is setting up the Clean Hydrogen Alliance, a consortium of companies, public authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that would help direct the investments.
The strategy to invest in hydrogen will also have the potential to stimulate the economic recovery from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, said the Commission, by creating jobs and boosting Europe's leadership and competitiveness in strategic industries, which are crucial to its resilience.
"The new hydrogen economy can be a growth engine to help overcome the economic damage caused by COVID-19. In developing and deploying a clean hydrogen value chain, Europe will become a global frontrunner and retain its leadership in clean tech," said European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans.