The European Commission’s rules for green hydrogen, adopted on Friday evening, provide much-needed investment certainty for green hydrogen, says Transport & Environment (T&E). But the group has criticised the decision to relax rules for green hydrogen production that allow projects starting before 2028 to use electricity produced from coal and gas. The Commission surprisingly chose to exempt hydrogen produced from a low carbon electricity grid using nuclear electricity to deploy additional renewables.
Geert Decock, electricity & energy manager at T&E said: “The EU has provided clarity on what makes hydrogen green or not. This will kickstart investments in hydrogen and e-fuels, which are crucial for decarbonising our ships, planes and heavy industry. And by coupling green hydrogen generation with additional renewable capacity, the Commission will avoid the potentially disastrous consequences of creating new demand for already limited supplies of renewable electricity.”
From 2028, as production starts to scale up, hydrogen projects will need to add additional renewables to the local grid to match their demand. This will help to avoid renewables being diverted from the grid and putting pressure on household and businesses’ energy bills.
T&E calls on the European Parliament and the EU Council to swiftly adopt these delegated acts on Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin (RFNBO). The group warns that this decision should not justify the use of hydrogen for all of our energy problems. “Hydrogen is not a silver bullet, it still requires significant amounts of electricity to produce. It should only be used in sectors that need it. It makes no sense to use hydrogen whenever direct electrification is possible,” warns Decock.
Correction: Originally we stated ‘The Commission surprisingly chose to qualify as ‘renewable’ hydrogen produced from a low carbon electricity grid using nuclear electricity.’ This phrasing was not fully correct. This has now been changed to ‘The Commission surprisingly chose to exempt hydrogen produced from a low carbon electricity grid using nuclear electricity to deploy additional renewables.’ Sorry about that.