Europe needs ‘level playing field’ with imports and local hydrogen production says Air Products COO


Europe needs a ‘level playing field’ between imports and local hydrogen production, according to Dr. Samir Serhan, Air Products’ Chief Operating Officer.

Delivering a keynote speech in the Hydrogen Transition Summit at COP27 today, he said, “For the energy security in Europe it’s essential that the local production of low-carbon hydrogen is supplemented by imports – it requires immediate and targeted policy action,” he said.

He praised the US Inflation Reduction Act as “forward looking legislation” and cited Canada, Middle East and Europe as regions which are also actively spurring hydrogen development. 

“Hydrogen is a key enabler for decarbonisation,” he said. “The moment to act with focus and clarity is now. Hydrogen production is only one part of the equation – the real difference is when we use low-carbon hydrogen, and when we can move humanity forward.”

The scale of the energy transition amid growing energy demand means there is “definitely” room for blue and green hydrogen, he added.

Total planned production for green and blue hydrogen through 2030 has reached more than 26 million MT a year – which has roughly quadrupled since 2020 – according to McKinsey.

“Unfortunately there is no switch that we can deflect from gray to green,” he said. “Hydrogen production paired with carbon capture and sequestration is a natural step, a bridge that will enable us to produce low-carbon hydrogen, at the same time with the scale of the energy transition, and growing energy demand, there is definitely room for blue and green.”

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