The European Commission unveiled its long-anticipated regulations on what qualifies as “renewable” hydrogen on Monday 13 February. After several years of deliberations between EU countries and industry, these guidelines have finally been finalized.
The additionality principle stipulates any hydrogen produced must be complemented with additional renewable energy production on an hourly basis. However, this will only apply as of 2030. Until then, the correlation is required monthly, giving the hydrogen industry a chance to develop at pace.
Notably, France and Sweden were able to obtain an exemption which permits nations with a low-carbon electricity mix using nuclear to forgo additionality. They would, however, need to demonstrate equivalent levels of renewables, typically through Power Purchasing Agreements (PPAs), with the possibility of sourcing these from existing renewable energy sources.
Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Hydrogen Europe CEO, said: “A far-from-perfect regulation is better than no regulation at all. At last, there is clarity for industry and investors and European kick-start the renewable hydrogen market. This comes at a critical time, with the USA setting a very high benchmark with their Production Tax Credits, offered under the Inflation Reduction Act, attracting more and more investments towards their clean hydrogen market.’’