German utility RWE has joined the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance (ECH2A) that was recently launched by the European Commission.

The organisation has ambitious aims on the deployment of hydrogen technologies by 2030, bringing together renewable and low-carbon hydrogen production, demand in industry, mobility and other sectors, as well as hydrogen transmission and distribution.

RWE said these objectives fit perfectly with its view of hydrogen as one of the great hopes for the decarbonisation of industry.

The utility is already involved in several key hydrogen initiatives, among the a plan to convert the German North Sea island of Heligoland into a 10GW offshore wind- to-hydrogen-hub, a plan together with oil and gas major BP for Germany’s first dedicated green hydrogen pipeline grid, and the construction of a 100MW hydrogen plant at the Dutch port of Eemshaven.

“RWE is convinced of the role H2 can have in the energy transition ... [and] also sees opportunities for the use of H2 within its operations, largely due to its large portfolio of renewable generation globally which is key in the production of hydrogen,” the company said in a statement.

“In addition the company has both the experience and the knowledge to produce H2 as well as the capability to store H2 in gas storage, which belong to the company. With the alliance, the EU wants to build its global leadership in hydrogen to support the EU’s commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.”

ECH2A has been criticised by environmental groups for granting industry a large influence in the EU’s ambition to build up a hydrogen economy, while the recently-launched European hydrogen strategy is in in the mire of green groups for not excluding fossil hydrogen (even if linked to carbon capture and storage).

Next to EU member states and industry, the ECH2A is also slated to include public organisations working in the EU, regions, civil society, associations, hydrogen experts, and research and innovation communities.