Hydrogen industry scores EU win with draft ‘additionality’ proposal

(EurActiv, 23 May 2022) The European Commission has drafted new rules clarifying how “green” hydrogen produced from renewable energy can be legally counted as “additional” and verified as such. The draft rules are seen as a boon for the fledgling European industry.

Green hydrogen produced from renewable power is seen as a potential silver bullet to decarbonise hard-to-abate industrial sectors like steel and chemicals, which currently rely on fossil fuels and cannot easily switch to electricity.

Earlier this month, the EU’s electrolyser industry committed to increase their manufacturing capacity tenfold – to 17.5 GW per year by 2025 – in an effort to boost green hydrogen production in Europe.

However, there is concern that the EU’s push for green hydrogen will cannibalise renewable electricity meant for other uses – such as providing clean power for industry or electric vehicles.

To avoid this issue, the European Commission is drafting rules to ensure that power installations providing electricity for green hydrogen are “additional” to other uses of electricity.

On Friday (20 May), the EU executive published draft rules – known as a “delegated act” in EU jargon – to decide what can be counted as “additional”.

These rules, which are up for a 4-week public consultation, could be a boon for the fledgling European hydrogen industry. In December 2021, a broad industry coalition sent a wish-list to the EU executive, saying the additionality delegated act “is a decisive factor determining whether the EU will achieve its Hydrogen Strategy 6GW target by 2024 and 40GW by 2030”.

All of their major demands, including a softer transition from the current fossil gas-based hydrogen production to green hydrogen, seem to be met by the draft Commission rules.

External link

EurActiv, 23 May 2022: Hydrogen industry scores EU win with draft ‘additionality’ proposal