The European Union at the Crossroads: Unlocking Renewable Hydrogen Potential

Authors: Nicola De Blasio and Alejandro Nuñez-Jimenez

November 2021


European countries are at a crossroads on their path to carbon neutrality. Today, they are at the forefront of the global clean hydrogen race but going forward they would be better served by collaborating instead of working alone.

Overall, the European Union is highly competitive in clean technologies manufacturing and thus well-positioned to benefit from the emergence of global hydrogen markets. But a narrow focus on short-term cost considerations could drive member states to implement national roadmaps with little or no coordination among themselves and hence little or no chance of competing globally.

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For Academic Citation: De Blasio, N., and Nunez-Jimenez, A. (2021), “The European Union at the Crossroads: Unlocking Renewable Hydrogen Potential" Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School, October 2021.


European Commission (2020), ‘A hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe,’ COM(2020) 301 final, 8 July 2020. Report

Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Observatory (FCHO) (2020), ‘Hydrogen molecule market,’ FCHO Reports, Report

Pflugmann, F., and De Blasio, N. (2020) “Geopolitical and Market Implications of Renewable Hydrogen: New Dependencies in a Low-Carbon Energy World.” Belfer Center Harvard Kennedy School, March 2020. Paper