Environmental groups have been quick to criticise the inclusion of blue hydrogen (derived from natural gas with carbon capture and storage) in the EU’s new hydrogen strategy, despite the clear priority given to renewable hydrogen.

Friends of the Earth Europe said that the European Commission “has fallen for the fossil-fuel industry’s hydrogen hype”, adding that the failure to rule out financial support for hydrogen produced from fossil fuels creates a “clear risk of creating new vested interests”.

“The Commission has fallen for the fossil fuel industry’s hydrogen hype," said Tara Connolly, energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe. "The Commission claims that renewable hydrogen is the future but by leaving the door open to fossil hydrogen, and gifting industry influence through a new Alliance [the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance government/industry group], the Commission is handing a new lifeline to the failing fossil-fuel industry. It’s now up to MEPs and EU energy ministers to ensure EU support goes to renewable hydrogen only, and to refocus efforts on accelerating efficiency and renewables.”

Green group Transport & Environment (T&E) added that “support for fossil-gas based hydrogen offers a lifeline to the fossil-fuel industry and should be dropped”.

“Hydrogen is only as clean as the energy used to produce it, and relying on fossil gas just delays the decarbonisation of the economy which the EU has committed to,” said T&E director William Todts.

The EU Hydrogen Strategy will be discussed at Recharge's free-to-attend hydrogen digital roundtable, "Blue vs Green – the Future of Hydrogen", which takes place tomorrow (Thursday) at 11:00 BST. Click here for more details.