European countries back plan to use more hydrogen for energy

European countries want to increase the use of hydrogen as part of their efforts to cut the continent’s carbon emissions. A non-binding agreement to be signed by energy officials in Linz, Austria, on Tuesday says countries will “aspire to investigate how to integrate renewable hydrogen into the gas grids gradually.”

The agreement, obtained by The Associated Press, says hydrogen can contribute to the continent’s energy security and reduce natural gas imports, much of which currently comes from Russia and countries outside of Europe. Hydrogen made with renewable energy has long been proposed as an effective replacement for fossil fuels, but the practical uptake has been slow. Monday saw the start in northern Germany of the world’s first commuter train service using a prototype hydrogen-powered train.