Policies for the transition towards a hydrogen economy: the EU case
This paper reviews the current EU policy framework in view of its impact on hydrogen and fuel cell development. It screens EU energy policies, EU regulatory policies and EU spending policies. Key questions addressed are as follows: to what extent is the current policy framework conducive to hydrogen and fuel cell development? What barriers and inconsistencies can be identified? How can policies potentially promote hydrogen and fuel cells in Europe, taking into account the complex evolution of such a potentially disruptive technology? How should the EU policy framework be reformed in view of a strengthened and more coherent approach towards full deployment, taking into account recent technology-support activities? This paper concludes that the current EU policy framework does not hinder hydrogen development. Yet it does not constitute a strong push factor either. EU energy policies have the strongest impact on hydrogen and fuel cell development even though their potential is still underexploited. Regulatory policies have a weak but positive impact on hydrogen. EU spending policies show some inconsistencies. However, the large-scale market development of hydrogen and fuel cells will require a new policy approach which comprises technology-specific support as well as a supportive policy framework with a special regional dimension.
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