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In their "joint political declaration on the role of hydrogen to decarbonise the energy system in Europe" of 11 May 2020, the Energy Ministers of the Member States of the Pentalateral Energy Forum expressed their common goal to "enable a forward-looking hydrogen infrastructure and liquid market in the near future". The ministers called on the European Commission to adopt a flexible, targeted approach to develop a European regulatory framework for hydrogen. The Penta Member States therefore welcomed the European Commission's goal of including hydrogen in the next hydrogen and natural gas package for decarbonising the economy.
Referring to their joint goal to "design a long-term vision for 100% renewable hydrogen", in September 2021 the Penta Member States shared their joint vision on the development of a flexible regulatory framework for hydrogen, and on the conditions for a sustainable and rapidly growing hydrogen market. The hydrogen market as an energy vector is still immature and developing.
Although projects of common interest in the context of TEN-E and the IPCEI will play an important role in the creation of a physically connected hydrogen system, the national hydrogen strategies and related regulatory measures taken by the Penta Member States show that the first hydrogen markets and infrastructures will develop broadly according to national conditions and directions.
While in a number of strategies, regional, national and cross-border networks will already be established in the first phase of market development, in other strategies the focus is on the role of clusters. In these clusters, producers and consumers are connected in local clusters that can gradually be transformed into interconnected systems.
In this context, the Penta Member States consider it necessary to develop a flexible regulatory framework to support the implementation of the national hydrogen strategies of the Member States, including common definitions and a harmonised certification system, with a view to creating an internal hydrogen market that works well and is sustainable.