- Welcomes the Commission's idea of setting up a European hydrogen bank and thus creating incentives for the emergence of a hydrogen market. The EESC stresses that fossil fuels must not be subsidised with EU funds. The principle "do no harm" must therefore also be applied to funds related to the hydrogen bank. Hydrogen may only be financed with EU funds if the electricity used is generated from sources that are compatible with the Taxonomy Regulation and are considered to make a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions.
- Opposes the use of (non-renewable) energy to power energy-intensive electrolysis processes via the European electricity grids, thereby increasing general energy demand. The EESC stresses that the use of hydrogen should only be promoted in conjunction with the expansion of renewable energy resources and should only be permitted where direct electrification is not possible.
- Believes that the cost-effectiveness of the projects to be supported should not be the only factor considered when drawing up the guidelines for allocating funding from the EHB. Rather, a number of other quality criteria, including environmental and social sustainability standards should be included, particularly provisions on prevailing wages, workforce development, and apprenticeships, to ensure that a larger and more diverse pool of skilled workers has access to good jobs and that workers have the skills needed to achieve clean energy goals.