Italy Could be the next Hydrogen Hub between North Africa and Europe

The Italian hydrogen and fuel cell association H2IT believes that Italy should focus on large-scale hydrogen projects and enhance cooperation with nations in North Africa to exploit its well-developed gas network and ship hydrogen from the Mediterranean to southern Germany.

The organization, which was created in 2005, envisions a key breakthrough for hydrogen in Europe in the modification of the EU Renewable Energy Directive and, more broadly, in the Fit-for-55 package (to be submitted by the European Commission in early July).

All of these initiatives, such as the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive and the presentation of a new RED 3 directive, will have an impact on the hydrogen energy sector and will be critical to its development.

By 2030, the Italian government hopes to have installed 5 GW of electrolyzers. By 2030, the EU roadmap predicts 46 GW. Italy has also been involved in the development of IPCEI projects (Important Projects of Common European Interest). Companies began their involvement in the Hydrogen IPCEI in 2019 when the government invited companies to submit expressions of interest.

Italy is currently in the process of selecting the firms that will compete in the first round of the Hydrogen IPCEI. Projects will be chosen based on their state of development and location. With €3.64 billion in committed investments, hydrogen is highlighted in the current National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR).

According to Crema, the goal is to create large-scale electrolyzers with a capacity of more than 100 MW in order to lower the price of green hydrogen to less than €2.0/kg. Crema stated that competition in the green hydrogen industry will be severe and that the market for green hydrogen will be “colossal.”

Italy has a number of complementary national assets, including an enormous gas network that can be used right away and then enhanced at a low cost to accept increasing amounts of hydrogen combined with natural gas. The ultimate goal is to produce pure hydrogen transportation. It is apparent that this is a vital location for Italy, both in terms of expanding the gas network and because of its geographic location.

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