Headline: Hydrogen in the Nordics : Drivers of European cooperation?

Under the European Green Deal, hydrogen plays a central role in the decarbonisation of so-called »hard-to-electrify« sectors and represents an important target of green industrial policy, as Europe seeks to gain leadership in this emerging segment of carbon-neutral industrial systems. Moreover, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it has been declared an important building block in efforts to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas (Rouzo 2021). While it is almost certain that the EU will need to import a significant share of clean hydrogen to meet its climate-neutrality targets, it also increasingly recognised that it will be important to build up significant capacities in the EU and its immediate vicinity. This can help strengthen the EU energy system’s resilience by reducing import dependencies and serve as a home market for European equipment and technology in the race for industrial leadership in the sector. This was one of nine policy messages formulated in a previous policy paper published jointly by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Research Institute for Sustainability (RIFS) on the role of international cooperation in the development of an international hydrogen economy (Quitzow et al. 2023a). Against this background, the Nordic region, with its abundant renewable energy resources at competitive costs could play an important role as a potential hub for hydrogen production and trade, involving EU members Finland, Sweden and Denmark, as well as Norway and Iceland, both members of the European Economic Area. The Nordic states1 are positioning themselves as leaders in the energy transition and are pursuing ambitious decarbonisation targets in an effort to combat climate change. Hydrogen’s possible role in achieving carbon-neutral societies has encouraged an increase in the activities of various stakeholders in the region in the form of concurrent policy development, R&D and industry development. The Nordic countries aim to use hydrogen to help achieve their interrelated climate and energy goals and as a key tool in the transformation of their industries. In this vein, this policy paper explores the role the Nordics could play in an emerging European hydrogen economy. It provides, first, a brief overview of the current state of climate and energy policy in the region. It then goes on to review the state-of-play in the hydrogen sector, including national hydrogen strategies and the current project landscape in the Nordics. Finally, it reviews the role of Nordic cooperation both within the region and with other European partners in supporting a rapid development of the hydrogen economy. It concludes by identifying potential entry-points for increasing cooperation in the future.


Kilpeläinen, S., Quitzow, R., & Tsoumpa, M.(2023). Hydrogen in the Nordics: Drivers of European cooperation?. Bonn: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

Beteiligte Mitarbeiter
Beteiligte Projekte
Geopolitik der Energietransformation: Implikationen einer internationalen Wasserstoffwirtschaft (GET Hydrogen)