The EU has launched a huge investment in hydrogen. Germany, France and Spain have plans to spend billions of euros each on hydrogen.
Last year, the Norwegian government set aside NOK 100 million for hydrogen in the state budget, while industrial players such as Nel, Yara and Statkraft have called for a billion investment .
The government’s hydrogen strategy from last year was criticized for being toothless . On 11 June, the government presents a new roadmap .
The government is now announcing that it will double its investment in hydrogen in the revised budget, to a total of NOK 200 million.
This is a follow-up of the investment in this year’s budget. There is 100 million for market development and infrastructure on hydrogen, says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru (H) to E24.
– Now we add 85 million more, also because the road map on hydrogen is in the report to the Storting that I will present on 11 June. The other part is NOK 15 million for an environmentally friendly research center (FME), she says.
State-owned Enova has also made several million allocations for ships and ferries to be operated on hydrogen, and for other hydrogen projects .
Planning many projects
There are several large hydrogen projects underway in Norway. Equinor, BKK and Air Liquide are planning the production of liquid hydrogen at Mongstad, and Yara is considering using green hydrogen in Porsgrunn (see map at the bottom of the case).
You have been criticized for a toothless hydrogen strategy and for the investment not paying off. Do you think that today’s investment is sufficient to accelerate the hydrogen industry?
– When we presented the hydrogen strategy, there was a lot of criticism that it was not concrete enough , and where the projects and the money are, says Minister of Climate and Environment Sveinung Rotevatn (V) to E24.
– What we said was that the strategy lays the foundation for how the government will work in budget processes, plans and allocations. And that is exactly what we have done, we have added money to the budgets, says Rotevatn.
He believes that the government’s proposal to increase the CO₂ tax could make hydrogen more attractive. He also mentions that the government has decided that the ferry connection Bodø-Moskenes will be operated on hydrogen.
– Some people think we have to come up with everything at once, but we also have to follow the ordinary budget processes and which projects come on the scene. But that we have prioritized hydrogen, there should be no doubt, says Rotevatn.