Fertilizer producers to aid hydrogen economy
(Posted on 16/07/20)
The European fertilizer industry has welcomed the EU Hydrogen Strategy and particularly the recognition of
ammonia as a fuel of the future and emphasizes the potential of ammonia as energy storage technology.
By creating a sustainable and competitive environment for strategic technologies such as low-carbon hydrogen
and green ammonia, Europe will prepare a fertile ground for a strong and innovative production base and
supply of low-carbon mineral fertilizers in the EU.
Fertilizers Europe represents the majority of fertilizer producers in Europe and is recognised as the
dedicated industry source of information on mineral fertilizers.
Commenting on the publication of the EU’s Hydrogen Strategy, Fertilizers Europe Director General
Jacob Hansen said: “We welcome the EU Hydrogen strategy as it lays foundation for policies that are
expected to create a sustainable and competitive business environment for strategic technologies
such as low-carbon hydrogen and green ammonia”. He added “under the right conditions, future
fertilizer production could be based on low-carbon sources of energy, while green ammonia could be
used beyond fertilizers, for example as a maritime shipping fuel and to transport and store low
Hydrogen is the main feedstock to produce ammonia and nitrogen fertilizers. Looking long-term,
switching to clean hydrogen would be the optimal way to reduce the carbon footprint of the
fertilizer production. However, several barriers remain. “Abundant and competitively priced
electricity to produce hydrogen is a pre-condition for green ammonia to become competitive and
challenge current fertilizer production technology” Jacob Hansen stated.
The right policy framework will be key to move from words to action. Hansen underlined that
“balancing EU’s climate ambitions with industrial competitiveness will be key to a successful
implementation of this strategy. Provided that schemes considered by the Commission such as the
Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism are in place to help maintain a level playing field between EU
producers who are subject to carbon costs and non-EU producers who are not, European fertilizer
producers should gain the confidence and the economic room to invest in new technologies”.
Fertilizer producers are among the biggest producers and users of hydrogen in Europe and therefore
the sector is best placed to partner with policymakers to work together towards scaling up the
technology in the most cost-effective way. Jacob Hansen said “As one of the key producers and users
of hydrogen, our sector is best placed to help upscale new technology in the most cost-effective way.
We count on cooperation with the EU, Member States and regional authorities as they will play an
important role in supporting industries in rolling out new technologies, for example by providing
financial incentives, creating markets for low-carbon products, and partaking in development of
regional hydrogen resources.”.
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