Near-silent buses shift around in a residential neighborhood in the province of Groningen, home to one of the greenest industrial areas in the world. We’re in 2026 and the Netherlands gives the world a preview of what a “hydrogen economy” could look like.
Inside the farms and dwellings of Northern Netherlands, the cracks in the walls are the only reminders of the region’s industrial past when natural gas provided jobs and wealth to the entire country, and drilling-induced tremors frequently shook the grounds on which the houses are seated.
By 2026, the Northern Netherlands region aims to become a “Hydrogen Valley”, a geographical area hosting an entire hydrogen value chain – from production to distribution, storage and local end-use.
The region’s plan is to generate both demand and supply for hydrogen, and break the deadlock which is currently stifling growth in the nascent hydrogen economy.
The Northern Netherlands recently won a European grant of €20 million to further develop its hydrogen valley in the coming six years.
Source: Dutch pin hopes on ‘hydrogen valley’ to revive declining gas region – EURACTIV.com
Decision makers should ‘take a breath’ and come up with a comprehensive plan to achieve the digital and green future we want in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis, officials and experts insist.
The virus pandemic triggered an unprecedented crisis in Europe, sending millions of Europeans into unemployment and forcing businesses to close down.
EU leaders will try to reach an agreement this month on a fiscal stimulus to overcome the severe downturn and on the seven-year budget for the next period, totaling €1.85 trillion.
EU institutions and member states agree that the digital and sustainable priorities should guide the recovery. But picking flagship priorities is not the end of the story.
Source: Six months to reflect on the new world we want – EURACTIV.com
Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) will vote on Tuesday (7 July) on a package of measures intended to clean up the maritime sector and include shipping in the EU’s Emissions Trading System.
According to a set of compromise amendments seen by EURACTIV, the main political groups – EPP, S&D, Renew and Greens – will all back the vote on a key policy report that urges the Commission and Council to agree to a carbon market extension.
ENVI is the most influential committee on climate policy and the result of the vote is likely to be mirrored by the full plenary sitting before inter-institutional talks start later in the year.
In 2018, ships emitted 3.7% of the EU’s total carbon dioxide emissions – some 138 million tonnes – and, as global trade is projected to increase, those numbers are only expected to grow.
Source: MEPs set to navigate shipping into the EU’s carbon market – EURACTIV.com
The Energy Charter Treaty, which dates back to the 1990s, severely restricts Europe’s ability to change regulations in the energy sector, with many EU member states facing court actions worth billions of euros, write a group of MEPs. If the treaty cannot be reformed, then it must be scrapped, they argue.
Imagine living in a country where citizens have understood that we need drastic steps to combat climate change. Imagine the Parliament and Government have developed a bold but realistic plan to phase out fossil fuels in a time frame that corresponds with keeping global warming within 1,5 degree. Covid recovery funds will be used to accelerate the energy transition. But then fossil fuel companies and energy providers decide to challenge it all and claim billions in compensation, based on an obscure agreement, the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). They want the public to pay for them to stop wrecking the climate. Does it sound like a silly story? Well, it is not. It is a real possibility that could materialize if we do not take action now.
We, Members of the European Parliament from different countries and from different political groups share a deep concern about the TCE, which negotiations for a “modernization” start on 6 July. Many EU countries have experienced directly how this international investment protection agreement made to protect the fossil energy sector represents a major obstacle to reaching our climate objectives.
Source: EU must end investment protection in the fossil sector – EURACTIV.com
Global natural gas capacity under construction has doubled in a year according to new analysis that warned Tuesday (7 July) the investment boom in the world’s fastest-growing fuel risks a “perfect storm” of climate chaos and stranded assets.
Capital expenditure on liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities has surged from $82.8 billion to $196.1 billion over the last 12 months, according to a report by Global Energy Monitor.
Following a string of divestments from high-profile LNG funders, the report warned that at least two dozen projects were recently cancelled or are in serious financial difficulty.
“LNG was once considered a safe bet for investors,” said Greg Aitken, research analyst at Global Energy Monitor.
“Not only was it considered a climate-friendly fuel, but there was substantial governmental support to make sure that these mega-projects were shepherded to completion with all the billions they needed.
“Suddenly the industry is beset with problems,” Aitken said.
Source: Gas boom risks ‘perfect storm’ for climate, economy: report – EURACTIV.com
Some 75% of the emissions reductions necessary to meet net-zero are dependent on technologies which have not yet reached commercial maturity, new analysis from the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found. EURACTIV media partner, edie.net, reports.
The Agency’s clean energy innovation report warns that net-zero targets, which now cover half of GDP globally, will not be met without “major acceleration” of innovation in four key areas – electrifying heat and transport; carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS); green hydrogen and bioenergy.
Just 25% of the emissions needed to meet net-zero between 2050 and 2070 are likely to result from mature technologies such as wind generation, nuclear power, solar power and energy-efficiency measures, the report states.
The IEA believes that the majority of the remaining emissions (41%) will need to be addressed using technologies currently in the early adoption phase, while technologies in the prototype and demonstration stages could tackle the final 32% of emissions. As such, the body is calling for “urgent efforts to accelerate innovation”.
Source: IEA: Most technologies needed to achieve net-zero aren’t yet mature – EURACTIV.com
Oil companies are being forced to cut spending due to a fall in global oil prices, threatening funds earmarked to dismantle dated off-shore rigs, despite environmental risks.
A drastic drop in revenue caused by the coronavirus outbreak has seen majors such as Total, Royal Dutch Shell and BP having to cut or defer expenditure by billions of dollars.
Decommissioning platforms is not “one of their top priorities”, according to Sonya Boodoo, an analyst at Rystad Energy.
She told AFP the allocated budgets for such activities would likely decrease by at least 10% over the next two years.
Source: Virus crisis threatens to set back oil platform decommissioning – EURACTIV.com
Volkswagen is set to remove production lines for all internal combustion engine vehicles from one of its key factories this year, replacing them with electric vehicle production capacity. EURACTIV’s media partner, edie.net, reports.
The carmaker this week unveiled plans to convert its production plant in Emden, Germany, to an e-mobility-only location, at a cost of €1bn.
Work on a new 50,000-square-metre assembly hall has already begun, with the first fully electric vehicles due to roll off the production line in the first half of 2022. A 23,000-square-metre expansion to the body shop is in the pipeline, as is work to modernize the paint shop.
Once the works are completed, VW believes the facility will be able to produce up to 300,000 EVs every year. The first model to be manufactured in Emden will be the SUV ID4.
Source: VW to ditch petrol and diesel cars manufacturing at key factory – EURACTIV.com
The European Commission will seek to position Europe as a global leader on hydrogen with a new industry-led alliance set to be unveiled on Wednesday (8 July).
Announced in March as part of the Commission’s new industrial policy, the alliance aims to bring together EU institutions, national governments and industry representatives in order to create a full hydrogen value chain in Europe.
“The European Hydrogen Alliance will pool resources to bring sufficient scale and impact to industrialisation efforts, creating momentum towards a sustainable industrial hydrogen ecosystem in the EU,” says a draft Commission document seen by EURACTIV.
The Commission is due to launch the alliance on Wednesday (8 July), alongside related policy “strategies” on hydrogen and energy sector integration.
Source: LEAK: ‘European Clean Hydrogen Alliance’ ready for take-off – EURACTIV.com
Efficiency must be at the core of Europe’s energy policy, the European Commission says in a draft policy document outlining its vision of a more agile, low-carbon energy system powered chiefly by renewable electricity.
With its energy system integration strategy, the Commission hopes to achieve decarbonisation at the lowest possible cost by using the relative strengths of different energy carriers – whether electricity, gas or heat.
“Today’s energy system is still built on several parallel, vertical energy value chains, which rigidly link specific energy resources with specific end-use sectors,” the Commission says in its draft ‘strategy for energy system integration,’ due to be presented on Wednesday (8 July).
“Europe’s energy future must be more resource-efficient, rely on an ever-growing share of renewable energies, integrate different energy carriers flexibly and be further distributed across space,” the document says.
Source: LEAK: ‘Efficiency first’ is top priority of draft EU energy strategy – EURACTIV.com