We will showcase the ability of hydrogen & associated technologies to decarbonize islands, while generating jobs and growth needed for the economic recovery. Islands are confronted with a number of energy challenges due to their specific geographic and climatic conditions. Islands’ economy is often largely based on tourism and related activities, which not only results in unbalanced seasonal energy demand, but is a sector which has been strongly affected by current pandemic. However, hydrogen has the potential to support islands in addressing these challenges. Hydrogen can enable sector coupling and allow large integration of renewable energy on islands, decarbonising sectors such as tourism, whilst promoting economic growth in new technologies and areas.
The European Green Deal communication recognised the need to accelerate the clean energy transition on all EU islands and outermost regions. As the world looks to recover from the current health and economic crises, we must continue pursue a modern, clean energy system. The H2 sector is well placed to address the challenges of the energy transition after the coronavirus pandemic, in line with the Green Deal, as it offers huge opportunities for sustainable growth and can be a key contributor to the Green Recovery. The pandemic recovery is an opportunity to invest in renewables, clean mobility, energy efficient houses etc. IRENA found that accelerating investment in renewable energy could generate huge economic benefits while helping to tackle the global climate emergency. IEA identified the pandemic as the biggest shock to the energy system since the 2nd world war, while renewable power is the only energy source to experience growth this year. Hydrogen technologies also contribute to the objectives of the EU Clean Energy for Islands Initiative.
Building on the successful experience of Hydrogen Valleys in the FCH JU call 2019, FCH JU intends in 2020 to demonstrate hydrogen potential for the islands. We’ll identify the priorities of the clean energy sector the for post-COVID economic recovery and the opportunity to pivot towards sustainable energy and transport solutions in the specific case of the islands. Participants will discuss issues such as: developing bankable hydrogen projects for the islands, decarbonising tourism in the new economic context, and will bring examples of hydrogen infrastructure developments that create growth and jobs.