The European Parliament’s Industry Committee rejected Markus Pieper’s motion on Tuesday, which claimed that the EU’s planned rules for renewable hydrogen were too “restrictive.” Markus Pieper is a German Conservative MEP.
The European Commission released a draft of EU legislation on the generation of renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO), which includes green hydrogen, in February.
The document, referred as in the EU as a “delegated act,” lays forth broad parameters, such as the so-called “additionality rule,” which states that the production of green hydrogen can only be done in conjunction with new renewable energy plants.
However, according to conservative German MEP Markus Pieper (CDU, European People’s Party), these laws are overly “restrictive” and may “distort the European internal market.”
Pieper proposed that the Parliament’s Industry Committee reject the Commission’s delegated act, contending that imports of hydrogen ought to be given more leeway under EU legislation.
A France-requested exception to the EU’s additionality criterion for countries with a low-carbon energy mix of less than 18 gCO2eq/MJ was another something the German MEP sought to get rid of because it was meant to penalize hydrogen from nuclear power generation.
Pieper’s suggestion to reject the green hydrogen requirements has more clout because the German politician doubles as the main spokesman for the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive in the Parliament.
Since his election to the European Parliament in 2004, the Christian Democrat MEP has received support from peers on the right and center wings of the German parliament. Several other Conservative MPs backed him as well, including Cristian-Silviu Busoi, the head of the Industry Committee of Parliament.
Before the vote, Transport and Environment (T&E), Bellona, and other organizations warned renewable hydrogen investors about the risk Pieper’s proposal poses. In a separate letter, the French industrialists, unions, and electricity-related companies, such as the French electrical union and electricity provider EDF, reaffirmed the NGO’s warning.
Discussions on the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive have halted as a result of Pieper’s motion on hydrogen. A conservative German MEP canceled a planned round of negotiations on the rule in February, blaming the European Commission for failing to publish its delegated act on hydrogen.
When Pieper’s proposal was rejected on Wednesday, interinstitutional deliberations on the Renewable Energy Directive went on successfully.
The renewable hydrogen delegated act will be approved in Parliament and the Council early this summer, following the end of the scrutiny period, unless a new rejection request is presented before then.