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French Nuclear Power’s Green Hydrogen Opportunity

On February 10, the European Commission adopted two delegated acts defining the regulatory framework for the production of green hydrogen, opening up investments for renewable energy installations. The documents also recognize the carbon-free nature of the French energy mix, opening doors to French nuclear power.

The European Commission adopted, on Monday 13 February, two delegated acts defining what constitutes renewable hydrogen for the European Union. “The adoption of the two delegated acts [of renewable fuels of non-biological origin] constitutes a crucial step for the European and national sector to take the final investment decisions, and for Europe to retain its industrial leadership in the hydrogen”, greets

If the 2nd axis determines the method for calculating reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the first defines under what conditions hydrogen, hydrogen-based fuels or other energy vectors can be considered as “renewable fuels of non-biological origin”. These rules aim “to ensure that these fuels can only be produced from electricity of “additional” renewable origin, the production of which takes place at the same time and in the same area as that of the fuels in question”, says the Commission in a press release.

Renewable hydrogen produced by electrolyzers can therefore only be considered renewable if it is produced from electricity of renewable origin. “The electrolyzers connected to the electricity grid will be able to count up to 100% of their production as [renewable fuels of non-biological origin] provided that they are supplied with equivalent quantities of renewable energy via power purchase agreements”, indicates France hidrogen in its press release. Today, the temporal correlation between the production of hydrogen and the production of renewable electricity can be monthly. This step will be hourly from January 1, 2030.

Nuclear Power Not Yet Eligible For Aid

These delegated acts also sign the principle of additionality. The electrolyzers must indeed be connected to a new production of renewable electricity and not to existing capacities, recalls the media H2 Mobile. But this principle will not be active until January 2028, allowing the sector to get started without being constrained by the construction of these new infrastructures. By 2030, it will be necessary to reach 500 to 550 TWH of electricity from renewable sources to reach the European ambition of producing 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen. And by the end of 2025, the European Union is aiming for an installation capacity of electrolysers powered by renewable electricity of 6 GW.

Today, if the manufacture of hydrogen is based on a supply linked to French nuclear power capacities, it cannot be considered as renewable hydrogen and therefore be eligible, for example, for the European Hydrogen Bank fund ( read our article). However, France will be able to value the fact of already having a carbon-free energy mix. “If the adoption of this provision constitutes an important step forward, it nevertheless remains only the minimal expression of France’s legitimate right to base its decarbonization on a mix of renewables and nuclear”, observes Philippe Boucly, President of France hydrogen. And to add that he does not withdraw his claims concerning the integration of nuclear power into European support systems (European Hydrogen Bank). “The story doesn’t end there,” he adds. We are continuing our efforts to ensure that hydrogen produced from nuclear electricity is recognized in achieving decarbonization targets. »

This article is originally published on letrois.info

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