24 May 2022, 13:49
Sören Amelang

German energy industry says EU green hydrogen rulebook could prevent scale-up

Clean Energy Wire

The criteria proposed by the EU Commission on renewable power used to produce green hydrogen are too strict and could “considerably slow down or even prevent the emergence of a liquid hydrogen market,” Germany’s energy industry has warned. “It is understandable that the EU Commission wants to ensure that the increasing demand for renewable electricity for the production of hydrogen is accompanied by the expansion of corresponding generation capacities. But in doing so, it must not lose sight of the goal of a rapid market ramp-up,” said Kerstin Andreae, head of energy industry association BDEW. “Hydrogen produced with renewables must be available as quickly as possible, in as large quantities as possible and as cheaply as possible - also in order to become independent of Russian energy imports as quickly as possible.”

Andreae said it is incomprehensible that the Commission wants to apply a multitude of new criteria that are difficult to fulfill, given that origin guarantees already are a proven system to ensure that only renewable power is used. “One of these criteria is that only renewable plants that start operation within 36 months before commissioning of the electrolyser may be used for the production of renewable hydrogen. In our view, this criterion is unnecessary,” Andreae said, adding that national renewables expansion plans should take into account additional demand from electrolysers instead. The lobby group also said the requirement that the electricity for hydrogen production is used within one hour of generation is counterproductive as it prevents full electrolyser utilisation, leading to higher costs. “The hydrogen ramp-up must not be slowed down before it even picks up speed. Pragmatism is therefore called for,” Andreae said.  

The EU Commission’s proposals for green hydrogen standards form part of the REPowerEU energy package presented last week to wean Europe off Russian energy.

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