The REPowerEU Plan unveiled by the European Commission last Wednesday (May 18), has widely been support by many industry leaders and representative bodies.
However, German multinational renewables company, RWE AG has raised its concerns that the plan could ‘shackle’ the hydrogen economy, rather than ramping it up.
In a press release today (May 23), the company said, “The future games rules for European hydrogen production, massively counteracts these ambitious goals.”
A delegated act specifies that by 2026 only electricity from newly constructed, unsubsidised wind and solar plants can be used to generate green hydrogen, which RWE has said is problematic.
The press release reads, “Even if planning and approval processes for new wind and solar power plants are to be accelerated in future, this would mean that it would not be possible to produce green hydrogen in large volumes before 2030.”
The Commission plan had also proposed that electrolysers can only produce hydrogen when electricity is being produced by new wind and solar farms simultaneously, which the company has said would result in an increase in hydrogen prices.
Markus Krebber, CEO at RWE AG, said, “The European Commission’s REPowerEU package was conceived as a watershed for security of supply and climate protection.
“The increased targets for the expansion of renewables and the ramp-up of hydrogen are a step in the right direction. But the detailed rules around hydrogen criteria that have now been proposed will put the brakes on needed investment in the coming years.
“The transformation of industry will be unnecessarily delayed because the green hydrogen that is urgently needed will not be available quickly enough in the volumes required. The current detailed rules proposal will put the brakes on a good plan.
“Europe needs green gases as soon as possible to achieve our climate targets and for more independence from Russia.”
RWE has said it and other companies are prepared to invest ‘billions of euros’ in making the switch to green hydrogen possible, however say, it needs certain that it will be available quickly, in sufficient volumes, and at a reasonable cost.
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