Denmark’s Insurance & Pension Denmark (IPD) said the €3bn of support for the hydrogen market announced this morning by the European Commission can help to boost investments in new renewable energy technology, and the Danish government must also create clarity about the rules around the fuel.

EC President Ursula von der Leyen announcement in her State of the Union speech that the EU would create a new European Hydrogen Bank.

“It will help guarantee the purchase of hydrogen, notably by using resources from the Innovation Fund,” she said, in the address focusing on solidarity with Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion and achieving European independence from Russian oil and gas.

The Innovation Fund will be able to invest €3bn to “help building the future market for hydrogen”, the EU president said.

Tom Vile Jensen, deputy director of IPD, said: Von der Leyen is quite right to see that we have to give momentum to hydrogen and PtX [Power-to-X] and is therefore putting up a good DKK20bn to attract companies and investors.”

There was huge potential in these new technologies, but also a gap, he said.

“This is because there is no well-developed market, but on the other hand the investments for Danish pension companies, for example, are large and full of risk,” said Vile Jensen, adding that the billions the EC president had announced could help to boost investments.

The European hydrogen market with PtX and other technologies had to move from a niche market to a mass market, said IPD, adding that it had long advocated greater political support so the investment funds could get to work.

In her speech, von der Leyen said the Commission would undertake a deep and comprehensive reform of the electricity market, and that it was necessary to decouple the dominant influence of gas on the price of electricity.

Regretting a failure to shed dependence on oil in the 1970s oil crisis, she said the Danes had been some of the “few visionaries” who understood back then that the real problem was fossil fuels themselves, not just their price – and started investing heavily in wind power.

But in response, IPD said that though Denmark’s early investment in wind had made its turbine exports “world class”, there was still a lack of political focus within the Nordic country on the necessary solutions.

“If Denmark is to be a leading country in hydrogen and PtX, then the Danish government should act quickly and follow suit,” Vile Jensen said.

“We must have clarity about the rules and a good framework, then the investments will probably come – but they will not come by themselves,” he said.

IPD called for better national planning in Denmark, so solutions for the whole country were considered, as well as energy cooperation with the other EU countries.

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