Revealed: How Germany stepped in to delay EU’s ‘green’ hydrogen rules

(EurActiv, 31 Oct 2022) EXCLUSIVE: Shortly after its appointment last year, the new German government interfered in Brussels to influence draft EU laws regulating the production of renewable hydrogen, resulting in almost a year of delay, EURACTIV can reveal.

A letter from the German government, dated December 2021, shows how Berlin weighed in the discussion to influence the EU’s hydrogen policy.

Hydrogen is expected to play a key role in Europe’s decarbonisation effort but actual market uptake has been slow due to regulatory uncertainty, with the European Union mired in discussions over rules governing the production of “green” hydrogen made from renewable electricity.

Back in 2018, the European Commission was tasked to create a rulebook to ensure electrolysers producing green hydrogen use only “additional” wind or solar power, and do not deprive other sectors from scarce renewable electricity.

This started a lobbying battle over the exact meaning of the “additionality” rule, which the European Commission was expected to spell out in a so-called “delegated act” – a fast-track procedure used for technical updates to legislation.

The stakes are high for Germany, which aims to use clean hydrogen as a replacement for fossil fuels in transport as well as in energy-intensive sectors like steelmaking or chemicals.

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EurActiv, 31 Oct 2022: Revealed: How Germany stepped in to delay EU’s ‘green’ hydrogen rules