Brussels, 19 May 2021 – Members of the European Parliament voted today on a European Strategy for Hydrogen (INI report). They agreed that low carbon hydrogen should have a transitional role which is not in line with putting the EU on track with the Paris Agreement objective of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
“Giving a transitional role to low carbon hydrogen, and diverting precious public funds from the no regret solutions, energy savings and renewables, would jeopardise the achievement of Europe’s climate objectives. Europe has the potential to produce hydrogen from renewable electricity, why would we stick to fossil gas based hydrogen?,” said Esther Bollendorff, Senior Gas Policy Coordinator at CAN Europe.
On a positive note, the Parliament’s report excludes hydrogen use from buildings, where there are many renewable alternatives for heating instead of burning hydrogen, qualified as “champagne” of energy carriers. The voting also saw a majority of MEPs refusing blending, therefore dodging support to transform existing fossil gas pipelines to be able to carry a mix of hydrogen and fossil gas.
Furthermore, the report stresses the need for additional renewable generation capacity in proportion to the demand for renewable hydrogen in priority sectors. At the same time, the European Parliament recommended putting in place a certification system for hydrogen that is not linked to the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive, avoiding the risk of fossil fuels corrupting clean energy plans.
Mid July, the Commission will publish a revised proposal for the Renewable Energy Directive and by the end of the year a revision of the gas market package. In the context of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, the Commission will also work on a pipeline of investment projects.
NOTE FOR EDITORS:
Recent CAN Europe’s positioning paper: https://caneurope.org/position-paper-hydrogen/
Recent letter to the European Commission: https://caneurope.org/ngo-letter-comission-european-clean-hydrogen-alliance/
Esther Bollendorff, Senior Gas Policy Coordinator at CAN Europe: firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 484 564 680
Nina Tramullas, Communication Coordinator at CAN Europe: email@example.com