In recent months, we see projects from Europe, reducing or relaunching polluting emissions, intending to achieve emissions neutrality by 2050. An initiative that will shower hundreds of actions with public money and where hydrogen will has become one of the protagonists in public discourse. An energy vector that curiously is supported mainly by pressure groups made up almost entirely of oil companies.
According to a series of articles from the Euriactiv portal, the strategy of the significant pressure groups representing the fossil fuel industry is working in depth to try to influence European politicians’ decisions to direct part of the strategy emission reduction with hydrogen.
The main problem is that producing green hydrogen, which is produced by renewable energy, is more of an idea of the future than reality. In the short and medium-term, its production will continue to be led by fossil fuels, and therein lies the explanation of the interest of the oil companies in their commitment to this element.
Hydrogen that will also have centralized production, which will allow energy companies whose production and distribution are in the hands of a few who manage prices according to their interest and see in this new format a way to perpetuate their model, maintain the current format in the coming decades.
According to German Green MEP Michael Bloss: “The gas lobby has a massive influence on the EU’s hydrogen strategy. While the Commission clarifies that clean hydrogen must come from renewables, it will still invest in fossil-sourced hydrogen .”
Between 2020 and 2030, the European Commission will invest between 13,000 and 15,000 million euros in the production of electrolyzers and between 50,000 and 150,000 million euros to increase wind and solar capacity between 50 and 75 GW. In total, the MEP projects that up to € 180 billion of public money will be invested in producing green hydrogen by 2050.
One of the signs of the incursion of the fossil fuel industry seeking to continue its business with hydrogen is found in the records of meetings of the representatives of the European Union with the hydrogen lobbies. They seek to take advantage of the impact of the crisis of the coronavirus and the motto of a more sustainable recovery to get the EU to double its budget for hydrogen and CO2 reconstruction (CCS) projects.
Another aspect that experts highlight on hydrogen is that it is of interest to energy companies since, in the short and medium-term, it will allow them to continue producing energy with polluting systems, which translates into minimal investments to keep their business.
Something that may have adverse effects in the search for a low-emission model, which may be adversely affected by the diversion of funds to alternatives that will need planning and investments to create a distribution network of energy partly produced with fossil fuels. It will inevitably have an impact on the achievement of the objectives set.