Austria has presented its national hydrogen strategy which envisages building up an electrolysis capacity of 1 GW by the end of the decade and using the clean fuel primarily for the decarbosation of the industry.
Green hydrogen is "the champagne of the energy transition" as it is valuable and versatile but not infinite, Austria's climate minister Leonore Gewessler said on Thursday during the presentation of the strategy.
The Alpine country will produce hydrogen using green electricity generated locally to reduce the need for natural gas and cut its dependence on Russian energy imports. The local generation of climate-neutral hydrogen will be supported with EUR 40 million (USD 42.76m) per year under the Renewable Energy Expansion Act.
The 1-GW capacity to be available in 2030 will be enough to generate about 4 TWh of green hydrogen per year and will be used in the areas of the industry where there are no alternatives. Such priority sectors include the chemical industry and cement production where 80% of the hydrogen currently produced from natural gas should be replaced with green hydrogen by the end of the decade.
The investment costs for the development of 1 GW of installed electrolysis capacity are estimated at EUR 937 million, according to a study by the research institute Economica.
To enable the supply of the green fuel to customers, the Alpine country will use the existing gas pipelines which will be upgraded to be suitable for the transportation of hydrogen.
Along with the local production, Austria will seek to quickly build partnerships at both state and corporate level to secure hydrogen imports.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.069)
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