Hydrogen Europe expresses concerns over renewable legislation

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Hydrogen Europe has sent a letter to Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, expressing concern over provisions of the future Renewable Energy Directive II (RED II) legislation that are detrimental to the development of a leading hydrogen market in Europe.

Hydrogen Europe brought up Article 27.3 of RED II, the Delegated Act (DA), which specifies the requirements for the production of renewable hydrogen. The letter claims that the DA, as written, will undermine the EU’s efforts to advance green hydrogen and that its regulations are “disproportionate,” leading to “European renewable hydrogen that is insufficient for the industry demands and non-competitive vis-à-vis non-European renewable hydrogen.”

According to the letter, the recently enacted US Inflation Reduction Act “includes a clear plan seeking to upscale the production of all forms of clean hydrogen, especially green hydrogen in the US,” in contrast to the present planned European legislation.

“The significance of this plan is undoubtedly the most impressive incentive any policy maker has undertaken to encourage renewable hydrogen rollout. Many companies and project developers are already conducting negotiations to benefit from the scheme. Surely, this is understandable as the rules are simple and conditions are extremely attractive.”

Among the letter’s contents is a stern request for immediate action. “It is becoming increasingly evident that only a handful of Member states would see large scale financially viable renewable hydrogen project go ahead under the current environment. Moreover, there is a need to minimize the risk concerning the rapid scale up of the European hydrogen economy by putting more public financial resources – otherwise uncertainties along the long value chain will keep hindering fast evolution,” the letter states.

In addition, Hydrogen Europe has pledged to keep working on ideas for policy tools like the European Renewable Hydrogen Switchboard proposal, which might fill the role of the absent “market maker.”

The hydrogen economy in Europe is on the brink of collapse. With the support of investors and policymakers, the continent has the potential to become a global leader in the production, distribution, and end-use of renewable hydrogen. On the other hand, if European policymakers don’t muster the necessary enthusiasm and creativity, the continent risks falling behind its regional rivals and falling farther behind in the next big technological race.

Anela Dokso

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