In today’s video conference call of the EU Energy Ministers, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier and the ministers representing the other states of the Pentalateral Forum (Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland) presented a Joint Declaration (PDF, 426 KB) on the role of hydrogen for the decarbonisation of the energy systems and especially the gas sector. In this declaration, the ministers commit to the future role of hydrogen in important sectors such as industry and transport in which it is the only or the only cost-efficient way to deliver decarbonisation. It is important to aim for a swift and coordinated ramp-up of supply and demand for these technologies, and to create the necessary infrastructure. At the national level, Germany’s Federal Government adopted its National Hydrogen Strategy last week.

The ‘Penta States’ work together in this forum to create an impetus for the EU Single Market, to address the challenges of the energy transition in a coordinated way, and to support EU policies on their path towards climate neutrality. The Penta States have developed a number of approaches for enhancing flexibility in the energy systems, improving the framework for innovative technologies, or expanding the infrastructure for liquid, interconnected markets. Bulgaria, Ireland, and Portugal have already joined the declaration. Romania has also declared its support, whilst several other member states are looking into this.

The declaration calls upon the European Commission to work with the member states and draw up specific practical approaches and the legislation necessary for a quick ramp-up of the hydrogen economy, the development of infrastructure (in particular networks reserved to hydrogen) and for a positive competition framework for the future single market in hydrogen. All this – in addition to member states’ commitment to the implementation of their own strategies – is necessary to achieve legal certainty, a reliable investment environment and a sufficient market size.