Denmark is pledging to increase production of green hydrogen, its government announced Tuesday. The low-carbon fuel could supplant oil in airplanes, trucks, and cargo ships, and replace coal in the production of steel and cement, helping to curb pollution from transportation and heavy industry.
Green hydrogen is produced through electrolysis, which uses electricity from renewable sources to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Denmark is aiming to build up to six gigawatts of electrolysis capacity, which will demand a greater buildout of clean energy. The effort will be supported by subsidies of 1.25 billion Danish crowns ($184.83 million).
“We have had an economy which has been based primarily on oil but in the future it will be based on hydrogen,” climate and energy minister Dan Jorgensen told Reuters. “This will help us to become independent of fossil fuels.”
Jorgensen said he is expecting a speedy approval of aid from the European Union (EU), which could help Denmark curb the use of imported Russian fossil fuels. Europe is heavily reliant on Russia for coal, oil, and natural gas and looking to limit imports. As part of its climate goals, the EU is aiming for six gigawatts of electrolysis capacity across member states by 2024 and 40 gigawatts by 2030.