France delighted when the European Parliament’s energy committee recognized low-carbon hydrogen as equal to renewable hydrogen in the fight for decarbonisation.
In December 2021, the Commission presented its gas and hydrogen package of laws, which included nuclear-derived hydrogen.
Low-carbon hydrogen supporters were relieved by the committee vote.
Since “grey hydrogen” from fossil gas has a carbon intensity of 11kgCO2e/kgH2, hydrogen must not exceed 3.38 kgCO2e/kgH2 to be termed low-carbon. The computation technique will be defined six months after the Gas and Hydrogen Directive is finalized.
According to the French agency for ecological transition, France could manufacture nuclear-derived hydrogen at 2.77 kgCO2e/kgH2 using this revised definition (ADEME).
France can use the term to promote low-carbon hydrogen in EU decarbonization goals.
It does not resolve the dispute over nuclear-derived hydrogen in the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, which is also under review.
France said excluding nuclear from EU decarbonisation ambitions was unhelpful.