top of page

Our insights and perspectives on the future hydrogen economy in a blog

over the clouds_edited.jpg

“Hydrogen: game-changer for a sustainable energy future”

At OMNIA we understand the relevance of hydrogen to creating sustainable energy, and over the coming weeks we will share our knowledge and experience in a blog series. Our blog articles will include topics ranging from the importance of hydrogen within the global decarbonisation endeavour, to hydrogen’s current legal situation in Germany, the EU, and the UN. To learn more, follow our blog ‘Hydrogen: game-changer for our sustainable energy future’, and have a look at our blog posts below.

On the 22nd of November 2022, the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 closed with a breakthrough agreement to provide ‘loss and damage’ funding for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters. Accompanying this global effort on climate change was an agreement between the participating states to launch a package of 25 new collaborative actions that will be delivered by COP28 to speed up the decarbonisation of industry. The field of hydrogen will be a key factor in these policies; this is reflected by the fact that 50 countries are already developing and following hydrogen strategies, collectively targeting 74 GW of capacity. The joint agreement looks to build on this global effort to apply hydrogen within the energy transition plan while adding priority actions to follow until the COP28, all while having the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) assist in their implementation.

Joint Agreement of the COP27 on Hydrogen

One priority action of the joint global vision on hydrogen is scaling up the production of low-emission hydrogen. To achieve this goal, the COP27 agreement envisages the development of common definitions for green hydrogen and the enhanced deployment of essential hydrogen infrastructure projects. To that end, the agreement has plans for the construction of at least 100 hydrogen valleys (UNFCCC, 2022).

These joint initiatives agreed on during the COP 27 will be financially backed by various funding programmes. Among others, the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) will launch a new Industry Transition Programme. This Industry Transition Programme will be the world’s first large-scale, dedicated finance programme for developing countries’ industry transitions, and that aims to decarbonise industries globally with the use of renewable hydrogen. The European Union will also involve itself financially with a 410 million-dollar investment in the green hydrogen sector of Egypt through the EBRD (UNFCCC, 2022). Finally, the World Bank announced the development of a 1.6 billion-dollar global investment programme to enhance efforts in the hydrogen field.

The COP27 has also encouraged non-governmental entities to make steps towards a green transition, as the largest green hydrogen developers and shipping actors have made a joint statement in which they mutually commit to the production and application of green hydrogen-derived fuels by 2030 and beyond.

Figure: UNFCCC, 2022

UNIDO’s hydrogen programme

The United Nations will continue to assist in the implementation of the ambitious goals agreed upon at the COP27 through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). UNIDO has long-standing experience in renewable energy projects, such as the application of clean energy technology in the industry, and already successfully collaborates with a wide range of partners worldwide in supporting industries in their pathway to net-zero emissions. In July 2021, UNIDO launched a global Programme to foster the application of green hydrogen, recognizing the growing importance of renewable hydrogen. According to UNIDO, the programme consists of two pillars. The first is the ‘Global Partnership for Hydrogen in Industry’, which aims to enhance continuous global strategic dialogue, in addition to annual global environmental and climate summits like the COP (UNIDO, 2022). UNIDO’s framework for ongoing global dialogue on hydrogen fosters the exchange, development, and distribution of knowledge on policies and technical guidelines.

The second pillar is UNIDO’s technical assistance to support the industrial application and up-take of green hydrogen (UNIDO, 2022). This will be achieved by designing and implementing national industrial green hydrogen roadmaps and pilot projects for and in cooperation with developing and transition countries. These roadmaps and projects will establish green hydrogen clusters and value chains and will advance sector coupling in industrial zones and parks. In the global strategy for decarbonising industries – sharpened during the COP27 – the application of green hydrogen was once again identified as a key element. With their experience and expertise, the United Nations (through UNIDO) can provide a global framework to develop and increase the application of renewable hydrogen and foster the exchange on the topic.


UNIDO. 2022. UNIDO’s Global Programme for Green Hydrogen in Industry,

UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE. 2022. The Breakthrough Agenda: a master plan to accelerate decarbonization of five major sectors,

Among the landscape of funding tools for EU hydrogen pilot projects, the Horizon Europe programme is a key feature. The Horizon Europe programme is focused on innovative research and, according to the European Commission, has a budget of 95.5 billion Euros (European Commission, 2022). Of this amount, 35% is used to support Europe’s climate objectives by investing in low-carbon industry applications and breakthrough technologies, including hydrogen. The Horizon Europe fund covers hydrogen pilot projects across the complete value chain, stretching from research and innovation projects to market deployment actions. The following article will outline the details for five of these projects.


The GREEN HYSLAND project’s target is to deploy a fully-functioning ‘Hydrogen ecosystem’ on the island of Mallorca, Spain, to make it Europe’s first hydrogen hub in Southern Europe. The starting point for developing this ecosystem is the production of green hydrogen from solar energy. This green hydrogen would then be injected into the H2-backbone grid of the island. These steps will allow not only the residents of the island to benefit from green energy, but the tourist, transport, and industry sectors as well. Additionally, the project will create a roadmap for the widespread application of hydrogen within the economy of Mallorca and the Balearic Region until 2050. According to GREEN HYSLAND, the findings from these projects shall serve as a model for the replication of hydrogen ecosystems on other islands in the EU. (GREEN HYSLAND, 2022).


The H2Haul project is co-financed by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) and aims to deploy sixteen zero-emission fuel-cell trucks at four sites across Europe. As a complement to the fuel-cell trucks, six new high-capacity hydrogen re-fuelling stations will be installed to supply reliable, low-carbon hydrogen to the trucks. According to the project, there is and will be, a constant monitoring of both the infrastructure’s and vehicles’ performance. Close and constant monitoring of H2Haul will enable the investment and participation of a wide range of stakeholders for future hydrogen projects, after its finish in 2023 (H2Haul, 2022).

JIVE Projects

The JIVE and JIVE2 projects (Joint Initiative for Hydrogen Vehicles across Europe) are also part of the effort to integrate hydrogen into the transportation sector, particularly public transport. The JIVE projects will introduce 139 new zero-emission fuel-cell buses and the associated re-fuelling infrastructure for the buses across five European countries. According to Hydrogen Europe, the projects are co-funded by a 32 million Euro grant from the Clean Hydrogen Partnership under the Horizon Europe programme (Hydrogen Europe, 2022). The overall goal of the JIVE and JIVE2 projects is to promote the commercialisation of fuel-cell buses through large-scale deployment of vehicles and infrastructure so that by the end of the project, it is commercially viable for bus operators to include fuel-cell buses in their fleets without subsidy. As a political consequence of the projects, the advocates of JIVE and JIVE2 aim to empower local authorities and national governments to make regulations for zero emission propulsion.

Figure: Hydrogen pilot projects funded by the EU Source: European Commission, 2022 & EVERYWH2ERE, 2022 & GREEN HYSLAND, 2022 & Hydrogen Europe, 2022 & HYPSTER, 2022 & H2Haul, 2022


The project stands for hydrogen applications in everyday life. Specifically, the project aims to develop innovative fuel-cell transportable gensets to replace traditional gensets by providing zero noise/zero emissions. The fuel-cell gensets will be tested at construction sites, music festivals, and urban public events all around Europe. EVERYWH2ERE has already been running for four years and will be finished by the end of 2023, according to the project plan (EVERYWH2ERE, 2022). Two years after the completion of the project, the leaders expect to publish their results and conclusions regarding among other aspects, safety standards for the gensets, application for the gensets in other countries, a selection of the first entry markets, and recommendations for up-scaling production.


HYPSTER is yet another hydrogen pilot project funded by the Horizon Europe fund. HYPSTER is located in France and has the goal of using salt cavern storage to connect hydrogen injection by electrolysis to industrial and mobility uses. The budget for the project is 13 million Euros and the first phase began in 2020 (HYPSTER, 2022). Currently, construction of the electrolysis unit for onsite green hydrogen production is underway, and when complete, is expected to produce 400 kg of hydrogen per day. HYPSTER will serve as a model for further other hydrogen sites using salt caverns for storage.

By supporting these various pilot projects through the Horizon Europe programme, the EU can gain beneficial insights into the manifold application of hydrogen, draft necessary political regulations to further develop widespread hydrogen deployment, and thereby overall, sharpen the EU’s hydrogen strategy for the future.


European Commission. 2022. Horizon Europe,


GREEN HYSLAND. 2022. Green Hysland,

Hydrogen Europe, 2022. Fuel Cell Electric Buses – JIVE,

HYPSTER. 2022. The project.

H2Haul. 2022. H2Haul in a Nutshell,

Transnational cooperation fosters the exchange of expertise and forms joint visions of the future, especially for new technologies. The benefits of such cooperation are evident in the EU’s hydrogen strategy. According to the European Commission, almost all Member States have included plans for clean hydrogen in their National Energy and Climate Plans, and 26 have signed up to the ‘Hydrogen Initiative’ (European Commission, 2020). Some have already adopted national strategies on hydrogen or are in the process of adopting one. The common denominator in all these efforts is the EU Strategy on Hydrogen, which was adopted in 2020.

In line with its long-term goal of decarbonising the European industry, the European Green Deal, and to aid the post-Covid 19 economic recovery, the EU intends to explore further applications of green hydrogen, to increase investments in its research, and to set-up an investment-friendly environment to attract funding for hydrogen pilot projects. These aims are outlined within the framework of the EU’s Hydrogen Strategy (European Commission, 2020).

One notable element of the Hydrogen Strategy was the foundation of the ‘European Clean Hydrogen Alliance’, which consists of industry, national and local authorities, as well as other stakeholders in civilian society. The ambitious aim of the joint program is to deploy numerous hydrogen technologies by 2030. This will be achieved by bringing together renewable and low-carbon hydrogen production, and hydrogen transmission and distribution to meet demands in industry, transport, and other sectors. One important step towards the Strategy’s goal was the introduction of the ‘Hydrogen Pipeline’ in November 2021. According to the European Commission, the ‘Hydrogen Pipeline’ includes 750 hydrogen projects from all parts of the value chain (e.g., production, transmission, distribution, and application), (European Commission, 2022).

The EU’s Hydrogen Strategy supports investment in these clean hydrogen projects through the Commission’s recovery plan, and through the Strategic European Investment Window of ‘InvestEU’. The investment plan for the EU’s hydrogen strategy is also bolstered by regulative and policy amendments. To this end, in the proposed directive on the internal market for hydrogen the EU Commission included amongst others, a common threshold for low-carbon hydrogen, and certification schemes for renewables (such as low-carbon hydrogen). Furthermore, rules for hydrogen infrastructure, access to hydrogen markets, and the integrity of the market were also added to the proposal.

Figure: High-level overview of the EU's Hydrogen Strategy Source: European Commission, 2022

The EU’s Hydrogen Strategy not only stands as a positive example of international cooperation, but also enshrines the strength of EU leadership in setting global technical standards, definitions, and regulations for hydrogen. Moreover, the EU is also promoting cooperation on hydrogen with Southern and Eastern Neighbourhood partners, as well as Energy Community countries, and the African Union. The implementation of the EU’s Hydrogen Strategy is finished with the publication of the REPowerEU plan in May 2022. The document stresses two key points: 1) renewable hydrogen is an important energy carrier for reducing dependence on fossil fuel imports from Russia; and 2) accelerating the deployment of hydrogen technologies will facilitate the EU’s energy transition and decarbonising the EU’s energy system (European Commission, 2022).


European Commission. 2020. Key actions of the EU Hydrogen Strategy,

European Commission. 2022. Hydrogen,

bottom of page