Google-led group asks for strict rules for the green H2 label
Hydrogen molecule. Source: Mainspring Energy.
A group of companies led by Google LLC, utilities Iberdrola SA (BME:IBE), EDP SA (ELI:EDP) among others, on Wednesday addressed an open letter to the European Commission (EC), asking for strict rules on what can be labelled “renewable” hydrogen.
Their voice is the latest to join the conversation around the origins of climate-friendly hydrogen, as some like France would like to see it produced with nuclear power and call it low-carbon, while Germany dismisses such proposals, preferring electrolytic hydrogen.
Google and other letter signatories want the EC to clear the air as soon as possible and adopt the Delegated Act on Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin (RFNBOs), which considers only electrolytic hydrogen and lists the criteria on how, when and where it should be produced for it to be deemed truly renewable.
On temporal correlation, the group stated that “the Delegated Act should require hourly correlation of consumption with renewable electricity generation, after a phase-in period,” arguing that hourly matching between electrolysers and a generation unit is becoming more achievable with the development of granular guarantees of origin.
As for geographic correlation, the electrolysis process and renewable power production should occur in the same bidding zone, or else neighbouring bidding zone provided that sufficient cross-border transmission capacity exists to carry renewable power. Multiple bidding zones within a single country should be allowed to be considered as one bidding zone.
Finally, on the question of additionality, the letter signatories insist that hydrogen production should support the development of renewables capacity to avoid undermining the decarbonisation of the power sector.
“[W]ithout a strong Delegated Act, there will not be the necessary safeguards to ensure that renewable hydrogen delivers emissions reductions, and believe adopting and approving the Delegated Act is critical to provide certainty to move forward quickly with renewable hydrogen projects,” the group said.
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