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Differences Over ‘Renewable’ vs ‘Low-Carbon’ Hydrogen Set Aside

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Differences Over 'Renewable' vs 'Low-Carbon' Hydrogen Set Aside

(CTN News) – In the long run, hydrogen is expected Renewable to play a key role in the decarbonization of industries such as steelmaking and chemicals, with the European Commission planning to produce and import 10 million tones of domestically produced hydrogen and 10 million tones of imported hydrogen by 2030 as a substitute for fossil fuels.

In spite of this, Germany and France have been at odds over EU rules that will govern the production of low-carbon and renewable hydrogen in Europe in the future.

It is the definition of “renewable” hydrogen and “low-carbon” hydrogen that is at the heart of this dispute, since “low-carbon” hydrogen also includes fuels produced from nuclear power or natural gas that has been treated with carbon sequestration technology in order to eliminate carbon emissions.

Under the EU’s revamped Renewable Energy Directive, France insists that hydrogen derived from nuclear electricity is recognized as green energy. This is an idea that has been firmly rejected by Germany, which said nuclear was not part of the directive.

The differences between them appear to have been resolved now. It was announced that Franco-German solidarity on a range of energy issues, such as hydrogen regulations, had been declared in a “political declaration” released on Friday by the two countries.

According to the joint statement, the two sides will “respect each country’s technology choice when it comes to electricity mix” and then “find a way to reflect this common understanding into the current legislative dossiers, including in the gas [and hydrogen] package, as soon as possible”.

As a result of this détente, the Czech presidency of the EU put forward a compromise proposal for the gas package. This proposal reflects the key interests of both France and Germany in the current debate on hydrogen in the European Union.

According to the Czechs, a newly adopted article 8a proposes to use low-carbon hydrogen and low-carbon fuels as a part of decarbonization objectives, reflecting France’s desire to count hydrogen generated from nuclear power towards its climate goals.

There is a possibility that Member States may include low-carbon fuels from non-biological sources, such as low-carbon hydrogen, in their planned plans, according to the draft, which was seen by Contexte, a specialized news website.

In the EU’s revamped renewable energy directive,

There is a provision within the directive through which the production of low-carbon hydrogen can be considered as a complement to the national targets on greenhouse gas reductions and renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RNFBO) referred to in the directive.

As in the case of Germany, the Czech government adopted a law that barred low-carbon hydrogen from being classified as a “renewable” energy source.

The revised paragraph stipulates that low-carbon fuels that are not of biochemical origin will not be labelled or advertised as renewable fuels that are not of biochemical origin, and that EU countries are required to ensure that labelling enables consumers to make an informed choice whether to purchase a low-carbon fuel or a renewable fuel.

A settlement reached after months of tension was welcomed by France as a significant step forward after months of tension.

During the Berlin press conference on Friday (25 November), French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said that France and Germany were in need of one another.

 It is our goal to move towards decarbonised energy production in our countries in order to increase investment in the energy carriers of the future, such as hydrogen, as well,” she said, in reference to the agreement that had already been signed in advance.


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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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