Energy System Integration and the Role of Hydrogen

With last December’s European Green Deal, the EU has firmly embarked on the pursuit of ambitious decarbonization targets for 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050. Against that background, 2020 pandemic crisis and the global economic breakdown it caused, brought to the fore the need for a green recovery, promising a complete overhaul of the EU economy and industrial strategy. In this context, new opportunities arise for the further development of sector integration and value chains for clean hydrogen, deemed essential for putting Europe on track for reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, based on its applicability in hard to abate sectors, such as transport and industry.

Finding economically viable opportunities for sector integration, based on international cooperation in R&D and commercial projects, will be imperative to the development of a hydrogen industry in Romania. It must all start from solid business cases for hydrogen’s value chains and expanding them once funding opportunities become available and technology costs decrease. This calls for a Romanian hydrogen strategy, that should involve public and private stakeholders, with a strategic roadmap of development steps and potential funding sources.

It should also be anchored in the upcoming EU hydrogen strategy and coordinated with the strategies of other member states, in order to create strong business cases for the needed investments. It is high time, on the back of the current exuberance about the prospects of hydrogen, that Romania takes the next step towards a more systematic and mature reflection on the design of a hydrogen roadmap that is best tailored to its natural and economic specifics, while fully aligned with the EU strategies and development.

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