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Hydrogen Europe CEO Jorgo Chatzimarkakis Tagesspiegel Op-Ed9 October 2023
Everybody talks about cleantech, including politicians who stress the need for more investment in green technologies. Yet, the reality is that we are at an all-time high when it comes to investments in gas, oil and even coal, writes Jorgo Chatzimarkakis.
On the one hand, we see renewable projects, especially innovative hydrogen projects, being announced worldwide; on the other hand, the number of hydrogen projects reaching final investment decisions is just 4%.
The gap between the idea and the realisation is due to a lack of certainty. Will there be straightforward targets for substituting fossil products with green and clean products? Will the right focus be on infrastructure, which needs to be retrofitted, refurbished, or built from scratch? Who guarantees public funding or at least public incentive nation?
China and the US move ahead in paving the way for cleantech. China’s contribution to solar development, especially to the cost revolution, is remarkable. At the same time, it has led to a global dependency on PV panels from China. The wind sector is moving in the same direction.
In 2021, the European hydrogen strategy forecasted that China would have an electrolyser capacity share as high as 10%. Today, not even three years later, China has reached 50%. Europe seems to be hit most by this trend as it has not found the right answers to the US Inflation Reduction Act, attracting many European manufacturers to American shores.