In an effort to have the Renewables Directive not apply to hydrogen and “low-carbon” fuels, seven EU nations have written to the Commission. Spain, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Portugal are the countries that have participated.
Vice President Timmermans and Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson received a letter requesting their inclusion, which reads as follows:
It would reduce ambition and delay the adoption of renewable energy, endangering the possibility of achieving climate targets, particularly those set forth in the Paris Agreement.
The seven countries’ industry ministers noted:
“A directive on the promotion of renewable energy should not incentivize the production and use of low-carbon hydrogen and low-carbon fuels, specifically counting them in the global targets for 2030.”
The nations make reference to the Directive that Brussels presented on February 13. It suggests that hydrogen generation from fossil fuels be regarded as renewable if it produces 70% fewer greenhouse gas emissions over the course of its life cycle than fossil natural gas.
The aforementioned nations agree that now is the time to act to stop global warming and achieve carbon neutrality. They, therefore, predict that the major forces behind decarbonization will be hydrogen and renewable electricity. They emphasize that more renewable energy capacity may be installed at relatively “competitive” costs and in “short” timescales.
Yet they also emphasized that the Member States’ transportation and industries are not properly developed. As a result, other low-carbon energy sources won’t be replaced by renewable energy capacity. Only fossil energy will be replaced by it in these sectors.
Decarbonization and renewable energy
The idea that Member States are prevented from deciding on their energy mix by an EU framework for the faster deployment of renewable energy sources is not shared by all nations. They take into account:
Including low-carbon energy in renewable energy goals will undermine efforts to combat climate change and impede spending on much-needed additional renewable capacity.
The use of alternative hydrogen and low-carbon fuel sources is not restricted or prohibited under the Renewables Directive in the Member States. In exchange, it enables nations that desire to completely rely on renewable energy sources to achieve advanced decarbonization. And the seven nations mentioned picked this alternative:
We think this to be the only safe and sustainable route to climate neutrality and energy security, hence it is our preferred course of action.
Nonetheless, they suggest talking about further decarbonization options involving hydrogen and low-carbon fuels. nonetheless, in other regulatory structures. The Gas Package falls under this category.
For those nations who require it, they think a “clear” regulatory structure is necessary. They also recalled that the Gas Regulation and the Gas Directive are now being revised, which will address it.
According to the letter to the Commission, all of this comprises:
Access to markets and networks, a delegated act defining low-carbon hydrogen and low-carbon fuels based on a reliable fossil fuel comparator and an aggressive target for reducing life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, as well as a strong traceability and transparency mechanism to prevent greenwashing, are all important components.