T&E labels EU Commission’s hydrogen strategy as “unsustainable”

Transport & Environment (T&E) labeled the hydrogen strategy of the European Commission as “unsustainable”.

T&E claims that the Commission gave in to industry pressure to alter regulations for the production of green hydrogen, allowing hydrogen developed during the next four years to utilize power generated by coal and gas. This will make the energy grid dirtier and increase the cost of home energy bills when coupled with the increased demand for electricity needed to create the new hydrogen.

Geert Decock, electricity and energy manager at T&E, said: “Swept up by the ongoing hype around hydrogen, the Commission has opted for quantity over quality. The proposal relaxes the rules to such an extent that so-called renewable hydrogen can be produced initially with gas and coal-fired electricity. While hydrogen is badly needed to decarbonise shipping and aviation, without additional renewables tied to hydrogen targets, the Commission’s plan may well end up doing more harm than good.”

“Green” label

In the EU, hydrogen produced from renewable electricity should only be approved under specific circumstances. According to a draft by the EU Commission, “green” hydrogen can only be produced from renewable electricity that comes from relatively new facilities.

In addition, adjacent facilities should supply the electricity needed to produce the climate-friendly fuel. These conditions won’t be entirely applicable until 2028, though. In the middle of December, the EU Commission may formally propose the new regulations.

There is disagreement on the standards for “green” hydrogen. Basically, if the gasoline was produced using electricity from a renewable source, such the sun or wind, it is deemed climate-friendly. A draft law with more lenient requirements than those proposed by the EU Commission was approved by the EU Parliament in September. If renewable electricity is not accessible, for instance, other forms of electricity should also be used for production. However, talks with EU nations about these adjustments have not yet begun.