At the 24th EU-Ukraine meeting in Kyiv, EU leaders will sign a “strategic cooperation for gases from renewable sources” to supply the EU with green hydrogen.
Both sides agree to collaborate on pipeline conversion, laying, and regulation. EU investments will boost Ukraine’s green power and hydrogen projects. However, France and eight other European governments want the nuclear sector to prosper.
France, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria have requested strategic partnership declaration amendments.
“Gases from renewable sources” is now “gases from renewable and low-CO2 sources” throughout the declaration. Electrolysis devices employing green electricity split water into hydrogen and oxygen to produce green hydrogen. Hydrogen is no longer green but low in CO2 if nuclear power is utilized instead of eco-electricity. By adding this term, the nine governments want nuclear power plants and hydrogen from nuclear power to benefit from the new collaboration.
EU climate ambitions require green hydrogen. The energy source replaces climate-damaging natural gas in industries and power plants. Due to a paucity of green electricity, EU countries will never produce enough hydrogen. Thus, the EU must import lots of climate-friendly hydrogen. North Africa, Great Britain, Norway, and Ukraine are expected to provide the EU Commission.
However, pro-nuclear governments like the French are promoting hydrogen from nuclear power as well as green electricity. That motivated reworking the partnership statement.
France and Hungary avoid sanctions
These allusions to Ukrainian nuclear reactor blessings are unlikely to appear in the final draft. After all, the operator of the largest European nuclear power facility, Zaporizhia, warned of radioactive release due to bombardment.
France and Hungary’s support for Rosatom has prevented EU sanctions. The governments of Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic states want this in Brussels’ tenth sanctions package by the anniversary of the Russian attack at the end of February. On Friday, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban again denounced Rosatom’s isolation. Sanctions need consensus.