The production, transportation, and use of hydrogen come with significant environmental impacts and pose risks of carbon lock-in. In addition, high production costs, uncertain technology uptake, and intrinsic inefficiencies of hydrogen as an energy vector highlight how to direct use of renewable electricity is preferable for most end uses – especially domestic heating and light-duty transport.
Within this policy brief, European Environmental Bureau (EEB) proposes that renewable hydrogen is set to play a role in the decarbonisation of industrial and transport applications where direct electrification is not possible. Stringent criteria must be adopted to ensure that renewable electricity used to produce hydrogen comes from additional renewable generation capacity and does not compete with the decarbonisation of the energy system. Clustering hydrogen production and consumption are key to minimising infrastructure needs.