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Disappointing financial results from Fuel Cell Energy slammed the stock and sent shares of other hydrogen-related companies lower, wrote Barron’s on June 10. Fuel Cell reported $14 million in sales for its fiscal second quarter, down from $14.9 million in the prior quarter and below the $18.9 million reported in the same quarter a year earlier. This suggests, according to Barron’s, that the hydrogen market has been overly confident, and the enthusiasm might be slashed by news about sales, and profits.

At the same time, commentators see in the price of raw materials a burden for the PV sector’s growth. Keeping this in mind, it does not come as a surprise that deals did not make the headlines last week. It was rather studies and reports under the spotlight. Focus on how to decrease the price of hydrogen and, in general, how to create consensus in creating an hydrogen market.

Apart from the report on hydrogen transportation by European associations Entsog, GIE and Hydrogen Europe, three important reports were published: consultancy Delta-EE reported that Europe is on track to reach 2.7 GW of operational hydrogen electrolyzer capacity by 2025 despite some difficulties with large scale projects; Dii Desert Energy and German management consultancy Roland Berger said that Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are among the best potential areas for hydrogen production; Spanish-German wind engineering company Siemens Gamesa wrote that green hydrogen will reach price parity with fossil-based hydrogen between 2030 (onshore wind) and 2035 (offshore wind).

“The IMO discussions on the decarbonisation strategy are progressing but this must be accelerated in order to meet the European Green Deal objectives of carbon neutrality by 2050,” reads the executive summary of a paper by Hydrogen Europe, showing that the future of hydrogen will also depend on the maritime sector.

At the same time, last week the US announced some hydrogen plans: Pennsylvania-based Air Products and Houston-headquartered Baker Hughes unveiled a global collaboration to develop “next generation hydrogen compression to lower the cost of production and accelerate the adoption of hydrogen as a zero-carbon fuel,” whereas US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm launched the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Earthshots Initiative to accelerate energy breakthroughs within the decade.

As usual also some news from Germany’s hydrogen gas industry: gas TSOs Gascade and Ontras plan to set up a platform for the hydrogen industry in Eastern Germany, with an initial grid to cover 475 kilometers of pipelines.

This week

Today, European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen participates in the EU-Canada summit, while Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson takes part in the third Union for the Mediterranean Energy Ministerial, and Innovation Commissioner Mariya Gabriel attends the launch of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

The EU-US summit will take place tomorrow. It will be handled by von der Leyen, while Timmermans will attend a conference on climate relations between Norway and the EU. In other words, focus of the climate diplomacy on the “traditional” EU partners.

But not only. Quite a focus on hydrogen too. Simson is participating in a webinar on the European Hydrogen Backbone - demand and costs of green and blue hydrogen in the EU and UK. On Thursday, Frans Timmermans will speak at the European Hydrogen Forum, also attended by Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, who will then be at the RawMaterials Summit.

Friday the last event of the week for the Commission: the conference "Trans-European energy networks: a milestone towards an EU powered by renewables" organized by Irena and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The European Parliament is having a relaxed week. Only event to keep in mind: the debate in the ITRE Committee on the European strategy for critical raw materials.

Last week

Spotlight on the TEN-E process, and on the PCI projects.

The Council reached agreement on a general approach on the revision of the Trans-European Energy Networks (TEN-E) Regulation. The agreement will serve as the basis for the Council's position in negotiations with the European Parliament on the future legislative act.

The Council's proposal on the TEN-E review gives importance to green gas and electrolysers, excludes support for natural gas except for the cases of Cyprus and Malta and provides, until December 2029, a period of adaptation in which blending between green gas and fossil gas is allowed. The exclusion of Cyprus and Malta potentially leaves the door open to the Eastmed pipeline.

There will also be a "social fund for climate action" in the Fit for 55 package that the European Commission will present next month, Timmermans said, explaining that "part of the revenue generated by the extension of Ets to road transport and civil heating could be allocated to a dedicated fund." Focus on vulnerable citizens who could suffer from rising CO2 prices.

As early as next week, the European Commission will begin approving the first national plans for adoption by the Council, von der Leyen said in Parliament, adding that funds will begin to be channeled and distributed in the coming weeks.

"The Commission is fully committed to a successful conclusion of the negotiations in the first half of 2022. This would allow this vital piece of legislation to come into force in time to influence the large increase in battery production expected in 2023," said Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius speaking of batteries.

The Commission has published the draft to be sent to the seventh meeting of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to be held between 6 and 10 September 2021. If approved, the document will serve as the EU's official position at the IMO conference.

The European Parliament adopted its position on the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030. MEPs (515 in favor, 90 against) want at least 30% of the EU's land and sea to be protected by 2030 with the mobilization of less 20 billion a year, calling among other things for a global agreement on the issue at the UN conference in October.

The Parliament also approved investments for 79.5 billion for development and international cooperation in the countries of the region, and the digital certificate Covid of the EU. It also adopted a resolution that leaves the Commission only two weeks to fulfill its obligations in relation to the regulation that makes payments from the EU budget conditional on respect for the rule of law.

In its seventh annual report on PCIs, ACER noted that more than half of the projects are on time, but noted several delays and some potentially flaky projects of common interest (PCIs or PICs in Italian). "ACER calls for additional scrutiny during PCI selection for such projects to ensure the robustness of the fifth PCI list."

EntsoE wrote that it will work with EU DSO Entity, created by nearly nine hundred DSOs in Europe under Regulation (EU) 2019/943 "in order to increase the efficiency of electricity distribution networks in the Union and to ensure close cooperation with TSOs and EntsoE for electricity.”

The fifth round of negotiations on the modernization of the Energy Charter Treaty concluded on June 4. The secretariat wrote that the "sixth round of negotiations will take place from July 6-9, 2021 by videoconference.”

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