The EU-Japan Region-to-Region Innovation Cooperation Program’s webinar on Energy Transition and Hydrogen held on April 27 from 9:00-10:30 CEST aimed to introduce the respective initiatives of European regions and Japanese prefectures for the development and diffusion of hydrogen.
The rationale of the webinar lays on the fact that hydrogen energy, which emits no CO2 during consumption is being emphasized as a necessary technology to achieve the goals of the ‘European Green Deal’ and achieve climate neutrality. Thus, European companies are steadily beginning to integrate the use of hydrogen energy into their business plans. To further accelerate the shift to a hydrogen society, the EU published its European Hydrogen Strategy in July 2020, and the recent situation in Ukraine has drawn attention to the role of hydrogen from the perspective of energy security. In Japan, the Basic Energy Plan approved by the Cabinet in October 2021 also positions hydrogen as a new energy source in terms of energy policy and calls for a drastic strengthening of efforts to realize a hydrogen society.
The opening address was given by Augustijn van Haasteren, Team Leader for the C2 decarbonization and sustainability energy sources and Director General for Energy at the European Commission who spoke about EU’s Strategy for Energy Transition and Hydrogen, and the EU ambitions to be Net Zero in terms of emissions by 2050.
Next, the participating EU regions shared their experiences and best practices thus highlighting the Hydrogen Corridor in the Basque Country and the Zero Emissions Valley in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Other regional examples from Val d’Oise, Emilia Romagna and Catalonia were shown as well.
Finally, the Japanese Prefectures showed interest in the topic through several questions related to prospects of e-fuel combustions engine cars and hydrogen, the impacts of hydrogen projects in the regional economy, differences between green hydrogen and other types of hydrogen, the role of the SMEs in the development of hydrogen and the use of hydrogen in airports.