Hydrogen’s Pivotal Role in Decarbonizing European Inland Ports
Inland ports define their role in the European hydrogen transition.
On 24 May, the European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP) finalised their position on hydrogen development in inland ports.
Hydrogen has been identified by the EU as one of the primary energy carriers of the future that will help realise the green energy transition. This requires a transformation of the European logistics and energy network. Core to this transformation will be the role of ports.
In 2023, EFIP together with thinkport VIENNA organised a workshop series on the realisation of hydrogen in inland ports. Throughout these workshops, inland ports examined the various facets of hydrogen development in inland ports by inviting a wide range of experts. This culminated in a final workshop on 27 April.
The Position Paper entitled “Making Hydrogen a Success for Inland Ports” highlights the crucial role of inland ports in Europe’s hydrogen transition. Inland ports, serving as multimodal hubs, can facilitate the deployment of sustainable hydrogen technologies to decarbonize industries, logistics, and transportation, while boosting economic development and job creation.
Deploying sustainable hydrogen technologies in inland ports can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Inland ports have the potential to become essential components of the hydrogen supply network, acting as local suppliers and distribution hubs, thereby supporting hydrogen valleys and accelerating the adoption of hydrogen technologies.
EFIP outlines several challenges hindering the deployment of sustainable hydrogen solutions in inland ports, including infrastructure limitations, financing difficulties, legislative uncertainty, permitting procedures, and scale limitations. To overcome these challenges, the paper provides recommendations such as ensuring a coherent legal framework, developing a comprehensive strategy for hydrogen deployment, supporting public-private partnerships, ensuring reliable avenues of investment, and promoting innovative solutions.
“Hydrogen will play an undeniable role in the EU’s energy transition. Ports as hubs of industry and logistics will have to accommodate and enable the development of hydrogen. As ports we have to start charting our direction and role in this development to ensure success in the years to come,” says EFIP Director Turi Fiorito.