Sweden aims to break deadlock on EU’s renewable energy law

(EurActiv, 15 Jun 2023) The Swedish EU Presidency plans to resolve the impasse on the renewable energy directive, with a new add-on to the text aimed at easing French concerns over nuclear power.

The EU’s renewable energy directive has remained stuck since Paris raised concerns last month that the law risks undermining the production of low-carbon hydrogen derived from nuclear energy.

The Swedish plan, obtained by news site Contexte, would exempt some forms of low-carbon hydrogen used to produce ammonia from the law’s objectives on renewable hydrogen production for industry.

It comes in the form of a new paragraph added to the law’s preamble, known as a “recital” in EU jargon. The recital alters the article in the law dealing with targets for renewable fuels of non-biological origin, such as green hydrogen, in industry.

Under the proposal, low-carbon hydrogen used in the production of ammonia will not count towards the target to reduce the use of fossil-based hydrogen in industry, making the objective easier to achieve for countries like France.

“For technical and process-related reasons, some specific integrated ammonia production facilities may need major industrial rebuild for consuming increased shares of hydrogen produced from electrolysis,” the recital says.

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EurActiv, 15 Jun 2023: Sweden aims to break deadlock on EU’s renewable energy law