Google calls for stricter rules for green hydrogen – EURACTIV.com

While talks on ‘green’ hydrogen rules have been going on for several years in Brussels, US tech giant Google, leading an alliance of several large companies, has called for tougher restrictions on hydrogen. hydrogen, against supporters of more flexible rules.

Hydrogen, an important energy carrier, can be produced from coal, gas or electricity. Climate-neutral and desirable “green” hydrogen is produced from renewable electricity. The European Commission is currently designing the specific set of rules.

“We are writing to you today as companies committed to achieving your goals of making Europe the first carbon neutral continent by 2050”says a letter signed by Google, renewable energy giant Iberdrola, Wind Europe and others.

This letter is part of a long debate on the specificities of the so-called “additionality” rules, which the European executive was tasked with drawing up in 2018.

MEPs fear that existing renewables will be cannibalized for the benefit of hydrogen production, making hydrogen a zero-sum game. To overcome this problem, MEPs wanted the “green” label to be subject to “additional” renewable energy installations.

The Google-led coalition, however, asked the Commission to stick to the original approach.

“We therefore urge the European Commission to adopt an ambitious Delegated Act on Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin (RFNBO) [essentiellement l’hydrogène] as soon as possible “indicates the letter.

The letter argues that restrictive criteria are necessary to “ensure that renewable hydrogen reduces emissions”.

As for the time correlation, Google requires a time match between electrolysers and renewable energies “after a period of gradual introduction”.

With regard to geographical correlation, electrolysers and power generation must be located “in the same bidding zone, or in neighboring bidding zones”, provided there is sufficient cross-border transmission capacity. If a country has several bidding zones, its borders are sufficient.

Referring to the growing demand for electricity, the letter states that “the delegated act should require that the production of hydrogen promotes the development of additional renewable energy capacity on European electricity networks”.

This puts them in the camp of proponents of a more restrictive approach, who argue that hydrogen should be tightly regulated.

Other stakeholders argue instead for an easing of restrictions.

In this sense, Berlin had sent a confidential letter to the Commission asking for a relaxation of the restrictions. Paris also sent a letter, asking the EU executive to make room for nuclear power.

Proponents of easing restrictions point out that market development requires some leeway.

The Google-Iberdrola coalition considers, on the contrary, that the European Union is well placed to set global standards and determine the trajectory of the hydrogen industry. “not only in Europe, but all over the world”.

“The United States, for example, will soon be developing its own standards and strong standards in Europe will ensure that the United States follows suit”underlines the coalition.

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