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Policy Accelerator: Connecting Borders Through Offshore Hydrogen Infrastructure

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On 23 and 24 May, EPICO hosted two Policy Accelerators in Brussels, respectively on the topics of “Accelerating Regional Cooperation on Infrastructure Development” and Accelerating Infrastructure Financing” in the North Sea.

The North Sea can play a crucial role in the future of European energy supply and security, with a great number of projects set to come online in the coming years, providing a significant boost to clean energy production. The rapid expansion of offshore wind production capacity is destined to boost green hydrogen production, which will play a key role in the region to unlock the Europe’s new “Energy Powerhouse”.

With two teams of experts including Piotr Kus (ENTSO-G), Jakop Dalunde MEP (Greens/EFA, Sweden), Christian Hewicker (DNV), Isabel Alcalde (Hydrogen Europe), Kim Lakeit (DENA), Gordon Thomas (Gascade), Matthias Janssen (Frontiers Economics), Alex Barnes (OIES), Matthias Maiwald (Gascade), Shaghayegh Smousavi (CMS), Klaus Hachmeier (CIP), Daan Geerdink (DNV), and Sam Williams (EPICO), the workshops focused on finding solutions to boost offshore hydrogen infrastructure in the North Sea, both through regional cooperation and innovative financing models. The discussions were moderated by EPICO’s CEO Dr Bernd Weber.

The Policy Accelerators provided a platform to discuss the integration of emerging hydrogen infrastructures with established energy systems, focusing on the challenges and opportunities. Experts debated the advantages of a European hydrogen backbone in the North Sea versus more localised offshore hydrogen pipeline clusters and the benefits of hydrogen pipelines versus cables.

On the topic of financing, participants explored who would bear the risks and the economic viability of investments in these ambitious cross-border projects. Overall, the workshop emphasised the need for strategic collaboration across European nations and a cohesive approach to developing a resilient hydrogen economy.

A coordinated European strategy on scaling up offshore hydrogen production is essential for overcoming technical hurdles and achieving the EU’s targets.

SAVE THE DATE! Insights from this discussion will inform a policy brief to be published in September, which aims to provide comprehensive guidelines and concrete measures to advance Europe’s offshore hydrogen infrastructure.

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