Italy signs the Manifesto for the Hydrogen Technologies

Prepared by Energy Team

On December 17, 2020 Italy, represented by the Minister of Economic Development Stefano Patuanelli, signed – together with 22 other Member States plus Norway – the Manifesto for the development of a European “Hydrogen Technologies and Systems” value chain (the “Manifesto”).

The signing of the Manifesto took place after the “IPCEI” (Important Projects of Common Interest) event on hydrogen and it proves the attention of the institutions on hydrogen as an ideal instrument for the achievement of the decarbonization goals set out by the European Council.

In particular, the Manifesto establishes the commitment of the signatory governments to cooperate on large-scale projects through new “IPCEI” on hydrogen.

In such regard, the first significant hydrogen project will be focused on (i) producing sustainable hydrogen from renewable sources, (ii) producing electrolysers and hydrogen-powered heavy transport vehicles (i.e. ships, aircraft, commercial vehicles), (iii) developing alternatives for hydrogen storage, transmission and distribution, (iv) implementing industrial application of hydrogen, to promote the decarbonisation of industrial plants, especially in those sectors that are difficult to be electrified.

The signing of the Manifesto is in continuity with the EU Council conclusions “Towards a hydrogen market for Europe” signed on December 11, 2020. Without prejudice to the acknowledgement of the importance of blue hydrogen (from methane with CO2 capture), the EU Council indicated as preferable the production of green hydrogen (i.e. hydrogen produced by electrolysis with renewable energy). In this perspective, the EU Council suggested:

  1. an amendment of the rules on state aid and the ETS system in order to ensure incentives for the development of hydrogen;
  2. the support of private investments, also through the participation of the European Investment Bank;
  3. the arrangement of one or more hydrogen-related IPCEI;
  4. the amendment of the “Ten-E” regulation to support the development of a trans-European hydrogen network;
  5. the promotion of hydrogen centres across Europe;
  6. the enhancement of the potential of natural gas systems for the gradual conversion to hydrogen based-systems.

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