Germany welcomes EU’s new green hydrogen rules, activists divided

(EurActiv, 14 Feb 2023) The European Commission published a long-awaited set of rules on Monday (13 February) defining what can be considered as “renewable” hydrogen, drawing praise from industry and mixed reactions from campaigners.

Hydrogen production is an energy-hungry process requiring substantial amounts of electricity to power the water electrolysers generating the gaseous fuel.

To prevent hydrogen production from capturing scarce renewable energy resources, the European Commission was tasked to design rules requiring that green hydrogen only uses “additional” amounts of renewable electricity.

“Additionality ensures electrolysers don’t raise prices for grid electricity users because it matches the increase in demand with an increase in renewable supply,” explains Gniewomir Flis, a hydrogen analyst.

After years of delay caused by intense lobbying from EU countries and industry, these rules have now finally been adopted, and were published by the European Commission on Monday (13 February).

The key principle is that hydrogen production must be matched by additional renewable energy production on an hourly basis. 

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EurActiv, 14 Feb 2023: Germany welcomes EU’s new green hydrogen rules, activists divided