Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development has launched a four-week consultation period to finalise its national hydrogen strategy. In what is being said to be the second highest capacity development target in European Union, the country is planning to set up 5 GW electrolyzer capacity by 2030. The national strategy aims at 2 per cent hydrogen penetration into final energy demand by 2030, and up to 20 per cent by 2050. This figure currently stands at around 1 per cent.

For the next decade, the Italian government foresees the application of hydrogen in the transport sector, with 4,000 long-haul trucks and a gradual replacement of diesel-fueled trains, which currently represent one-third of Italy’s fleet. It also foresees industry usage and hydrogen pumped into the gas network.

According to the preliminary guidelines, Italy should invest between €2 billion and €3 billion in distribution infrastructure, train and tracks; between €5 billion and 8 billion in hydrogen production; and €1 billion in research and development.

So far, France has made the largest hydrogen pledge by setting a target of 6.5 GW installed capacity. Like Italy, Germany aims at reaching a 5 GW capacity by 2030, Spain and the Netherlands aim at 4 GW and Portugal 2 GW. Other EU countries have yet to present their hydrogen national strategies. Europe’s plan is to reach 40 GW of electrolyzers by 2030.

REGlobal’s Views: Hydrogen today is too expensive for widespread use but as costs fall governments round the world see it as a replacement for fossil fuel in areas where electrification is not an easy solution. The industry, especially in Europe, has already recognized this opportunity and has started moving in that direction.