The Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) published by the European Commission on the 16th of March, jointly with the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA), are key and complementary pieces of legislation for the ramp up of hydrogen technologies’ manufacturing under the Green Deal Industrial Plan. It should be instrumental to the hydrogen industry commitment of the Electrolyser Summit Joint Declaration of 5 May 2022, to develop an electrolyser manufacturing capacity of 25 GW/year as from 2025, which is required to have an installed electrolyser capacity of 90 to 100 GW able to produce 10 M tons of domestic renewable hydrogen by 2030 in line with RePowerEU.

The NZIA proposal addresses some important bottlenecks for the scale-up of hydrogen technologies and uses, via accelerated permitting procedures, facilitation of public and private financing, access to market and skills development, amongst others. In addition, electrolysers and fuel cells are recognized as being of strategic importance, thus benefitting from additional leverages such as fast track permitting, tailored investment support and the possibility of receiving public interest status at Member State level.

This proposal is welcome, but several key shortcomings need to be addressed during the legislative process for an impactful implementation. Indeed, it will be key to make the 40% target for technologies manufacturing effective, to expand the list of net zero and strategic technologies in, as well as to identify and mobilise substantial budgetary resources. Besides, the NZIA should be
swiftly adopted, no later than April 2024. It’s paramount that these NZIA weaknesses be addressed to ensure Europe fulfils its domestic hydrogen ambitions and retains its global manufacturing competitiveness.

Access the “Hydrogen Europe position paper on the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) legislative proposal” here