Estonia's European Commissioner Kadri Simson called for the European Union's energy system to "become better integrated" and "more flexible" on Wednesday during discussions about reaching carbon-neutral goals and the future use of hydrogen.
On Wednesday the EU strategies for energy system integration and hydrogen were adopted. These pave the way towards a more efficient and interconnected energy sector, driven by the goals of a cleaner planet and a stronger economy, a statement from the commission said.
To reach the EU's goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050, Europe needs to transform its energy system, which accounts for 75 percent of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions.
Simson (Center), who is Commissioner for Energy, said: "With 75 percent of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions coming from energy, we need a paradigm shift to reach our 2030 and 2050 targets.
"The EU's energy system has to become better integrated, more flexible and able to accommodate the cleanest and most cost-effective solutions. Hydrogen will play a key role in this, as falling renewable energy prices and continuous innovation make it a viable solution for a climate-neutral economy."
The two strategies agreed on Wednesday present a new clean energy investment agenda, in line with the Commission's Next Generation EU recovery package and the European Green Deal.
The planned investments have the potential to stimulate economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. They will create European jobs and boost leadership and competitiveness in strategic industries, which are crucial to Europe's resilience.
The EU Strategy for Energy System Integration will provide a framework for green energy transition.
The current model where energy consumption in transport, industry, gas and buildings is happening in 'silos' - each with separate value chains, rules, infrastructure, planning and operations - cannot deliver climate neutrality by 2050 in a cost efficient way; the changing costs of innovative solutions have to be integrated in the way we operate our energy system.
New links between sectors must be created and technological progress exploited, the commission said.
In an integrated energy system, hydrogen can support the decarbonisation of industry, transport, power generation and buildings across Europe.
The EU Hydrogen Strategy addresses how to transform this potential into reality, through investments, regulation, market creation and research and innovation.
Read more about the strategies here.
Editor: Helen Wright