The European Commission is planning to hold 15GW of renewable-energy tenders over the next two years at a cost of €25bn ($27.25bn), according to a leaked “working document” revealing its Covid-related green economic stimulus plans.
A further €10bn would be made available via the European Investment Bank (EIB) to increase member states’ own renewables build-out, says the document, obtained and published by Brussels-focused news website Euractiv.
The commission also intends to spend €5-30bn on supporting the build-out of one million tonnes of clean hydrogen production by 2030 — either green H2 from renewables or blue hydrogen via natural gas with carbon capture and storage (CCS) — which would be subsidised through a “carbon contracts for difference” pilot scheme. This is described as “similar to tendering systems for renewable power, [which] could pay the difference between [the] CO2 strike price and [the] actual CO2 price in the ETS [Emissions Trading System] to bridge the cost gap between conventional and decarbonised hydrogen”.
A further €10bn of “mainly loans” from the EIB would be put into clean electricity and hydrogen infrastructure, including offshore wind grid links, hydrogen and carbon-capture and storage infrastructure “including storage sites”, and adaptation of natural gas grids for “low-carbon gases”, which in all likelihood means clean hydrogen.
On top of all this, €1.3bn would go to the EU’s Clean Hydrogen Partnership programme, which aims to bring hydrogen trucks and shipping closer to commercial viability.
A longer-term European Hydrogen Strategy and Energy System Integration Strategy is due to be unveiledin June, the document adds.
The full European green recovery plan is set to revealed by the European Commission on 27 May.