Green Hydrogen for a sustainable future – pilot action within the European Research Area (ERA)

Green Hydrogen is essential to achieving our climate goals. In this Research Initiative, countries cooperate within the European Research Area to make our energy systems more climate-friendly with Green Hydrogen. Find out how you can get involved.

Wassertropfen und transparente Molekülstruktur - Nanotechnologie
Wassertropfen und transparente Molekülstruktur - Nanotechnologie © Adobe Stock /

The world is facing complex challenges, from the coronavirus crisis and its consequences to tackling the climate crisis. But the past year has shown that groundbreaking research can provide effective solutions to our problems. Green Hydrogen holds great potential for a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and a green transition towards climate friendly energy systems.

What is Green Hydrogen? It is a carbon-neutral energy carrier entirely produced from renewable energy sources which can be used in the industrial, heating or mobility sector. Green Hydrogen is especially relevant for heavy-duty or ship traffic. Synthetic fuels based on Green Hydrogen can make these transport sectors, which are difficult to electrify, more climate friendly. Through so-called “power-to-X” processes, which transform energy into other energy carriers, Green Hydrogen can be used to produce important raw materials for the chemical industry, e.g. in the BMBF-funded Rheticus project.

The Agenda process on Green Hydrogen

H2-Tankstelle © Adobe Stock / malp

To make this technology fully operational, several further development steps at different levels are necessary. In 2020, under the German EU Council Presidency, the European research ministers agreed to launch a joint Research and Innovation initiative on Green Hydrogen.

This initiative is part of the EU member states’ efforts to co-create and jointly implement the new European Research Area (ERA). By shaping the ERA from the bottom-up, including different actors and perspectives, all member states, research institutions, scientists, businesses and citizens benefit alike. Increased cooperation effectively leads to a more equal research and innovation environment across the European Union.

In three thematic workshops throughout the year 2021, a so-called “Agenda Process on Green Hydrogen” will identify urgent research and innovation questions for Green Hydrogen competitiveness. In a final conference together with Portugal and Slovenia (the so-called “Trio-Presidency”) at the end of the year, the results of these thematic workshops will be summarized in a joint strategic research and innovation agenda. Once this agenda is complete, the real work begins: Concrete research projects and cooperations shall answer the research questions collected in the agenda.

Four preliminary main research topics are seen as crucial to advance a European hydrogen economy:

  • Transport and infrastructure
  • Competitive production and storage
  • Market stimulation
  • Regulation and standards

Integrating different interests, needs and perspectives

We will only succeed in achieving our climate goals if we combine our efforts and work on different levels. The agenda process on Green Hydrogen is complementary to other EU initiatives and follows an inclusive bottom-up-approach: Participating EU member states and selected international partner countries will, together with leading experts and stakeholders, discuss the different interests, needs and positions across sectors. Stakeholders from civil society, business and research are invited to become involved and to represent their interests, needs and perspectives in the discussion. This will lead to concrete steps on how to tackle the priority research questions. 

Graphical representation of the agenda process
Graphical representation of the agenda process © BMBF

Your contribution to the agenda process on Green Hydrogen

You, too, can help to find solutions to today’s challenges. We invite you to participate in an online consultation, which will soon be available on this website.

Make your voice heard – Let us know what you think!

This is your opportunity to become involved in the development of the European research agenda on Green Hydrogen and to set it up for success. We need your contribution to make sure that all stakeholders are represented in this important endeavour. Our process is open to contributions from different sectors, actors and countries. Make your voice heard and participate in our public consultation.