EU Mobilizes Private Investors for Green Hydrogen Market Drive

Source: By Vanessa Dezem, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Investors backed by the European Union launched a program that will harness private investment including from Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Venturesfund to jump-start the region’s green hydrogen industry.

EIT InnoEnergy SE unveiled on Wednesday the European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center to boost development of an “economy” for the clean fuel that it said could be worth 100 billion euros ($116 billion) a year by 2025 and create 500,000 jobs.

“We are identifying and co-creating projects that will move the needle and give a quick start for a hydrogen economy in Europe,” Diego Pavia, the chief executive officer of InnoEnergy, said. “The acceleration center will be the one-stop-shop for projects that use green hydrogen.”

Europe is targeting green hydrogen, a low-carbon fuel created using renewable energy, as a solution to cut emissions in the transportation sector and industries such as steel, cement and chemicals. The EU aims to push as much as 470 billion euros toward hydrogen infrastructure by 2050.

EIT InnoEnergy wants to take advantage of the momentum for hydrogen by putting together producers, consumers and financiers as well as taking stakes in the projects.

The Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center is getting the support of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund backed by Bill Gates and other business leaders including Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg, owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

EIT InnoEnergy, supported by the EU’s European Institute of Innovation and Technology, has an investment capacity of 100 million euros per year and usually takes 1% to 25% equity stakes in new projects, according to Pavia.