Hydrogen standoff brings EU renewables law to screeching halt

(EurActiv, 6 Feb 2023) The lawmaker in charge of steering negotiations on the EU’s revised renewable energy directive has cancelled an upcoming round of talks, laying the blame on the European Commission for failing to present a key piece of related hydrogen legislation.

The revised directive seeks to double the amount of renewables in Europe, aiming for a 40-45% share of wind, solar and biomass in the EU’s overall energy mix by 2030, up from 22% currently. 

But talks came to a screeching halt at the weekend when the German lawmaker in charge of steering the negotiations in Parliament cancelled a planned round of talks scheduled on Tuesday (7 February).

The talks, known as “trialogues”, involve representatives from the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the Council of the European Union to negotiate and reach agreement on the proposed legislation.

“I want to inform you that I plan to cancel our next trialogue because we did not receive an updated version of the [hydrogen additionality] delegated act by now,” reads an e-mail sent by Markus Pieper, the centre-right MEP from Germany who leads the negotiations on behalf of Parliament.

Among other objectives, the directive defines the share of renewable energy that has to be reached in the transport sector – which includes hydrogen among so-called Renewable Fuels of Non-Biologic Origin (RFNBOs).

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EurActiv, 6 Feb 2023: Hydrogen standoff brings EU renewables law to screeching halt