EC Launches Renewable Hydrogen Consultation

European Commission Seeking Comments On Regulatory Framework For Renewable Hydrogen

EC Launches Renewable Hydrogen Consultation

RWE believes the EU does not need to limit criteria for producers and purchasers of green hydrogen around the use of electricity. (Source: RWE)

  • EC is soliciting comments on 2 consultations to have a regulatory framework for renewable hydrogen in the region
  • These relate to requirements for renewable electricity for renewable transport fuels and to calculate lifecycle emissions renewable hydrogen and recycled carbon fuels
  • It has proposed to ensure increased generation of renewable hydrogen is aligned with corresponding rise in renewable power production, something RWE does not agree with

The European Commission (EC) has launched 2 consultations to clarify European Union (EU) rules for renewable hydrogen to enable the commission to put down a regulatory framework for the same, something that has come under fire from German renewables player RWE.

The 1st proposal relates to renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO) under which the commission will set out requirements for renewable electricity used to produce renewable transport fuels to be counted as fully renewable.

The 2nd proposal will put forward a detailed scheme to calculate lifecycle emissions of renewable hydrogen and recycled carbon fuels to work out the methodology for GHG savings.

Focus on renewable hydrogen is embedded in the REPowerEU through which the EU aims to reduce its dependence on Russian gas with solar target of 600 GW AC by 2030 (see EU Announces 600 GW AC Solar Target By 2030).

The commission called these delegated acts for renewable hydrogen as being in line with its ambition to boost hydrogen investment in the coming years, but added that hydrogen production could incentivize electricity generation from fossil sources. “This is why the Commission is also setting requirements that will ensure that increased generation of renewable hydrogen is matched with a corresponding rise in the renewable power production,” it stated.

Feedback received will enable the Commission to propose a final text to the European Parliament and the Council. They will scrutinize the proposals for 2 months before the commission finally adopts it.

Both these documents are open for stakeholder feedback for 4 weeks, till June 17, 2022.  

German energy company RWE believes the delegated acts proposed by the EC and now under consultation put ‘unnecessary shackles’ on it instead of accelerating the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy.

One of the major problems with the proposal, as RWE explains, is related to the suggestion that electrolyzers may produce hydrogen only when electricity is simultaneously being produced by wind and solar power plants. It claims this would needlessly increase the green hydrogen price and make it ‘almost impossible’ to ensure a continuous supply to industry.

“If Europe wants to achieve its ambitious climate targets, it also needs a brand new approach going forward: There should be no limiting criteria for the producers and purchasers of green hydrogen around the use of electricity. Instead, the member states should take the additional electricity required to ramp up electrolyzer capacity into account in their national build-out targets for renewables,” states RWE.

It said the company along with other players are prepared to invest billions of euros into switching to green hydrogen, but they need certainty that green hydrogen will be available as quickly as possible. “RWE will actively work towards this in the upcoming consultation and hopes that political decision-makers rethink the current criteria proposals,” it added.

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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