An EU ‘road map’ for cleaner energy

A scientific project funded by the EU’s research programme has found that introducing hydrogen into the energy system would significantly reduce total oil consumption by the road transport sector: by 40% by 2050. Hydrogen is one of the most realistic options for environmental and economic sustainability in the transport sector.

The HyWays project has produced a ‘road map’ to analyse potential impacts on the EU economy, society and environment of the large-scale introduction of hydrogen, and an action plan detailing what must be done to achieve this. The road map estimates that by 2030 there will be 16 million hydrogen-powered cars.

10 member states took part in the project, including the UK. All chose the production of hydrogen from natural gas, biomass and wind energy, with some also including nuclear and coal-fired power stations as a means of generating hydrogen. The study found that the production of hydrogen from fossil fuels using carbon capture and storage could make a significant contribution to lowering CO2 emissions. The report urges the EU to take the lead in developing the technology and infrastructure needed to increasingly utilise hydrogen in transport.