France Hydrogène, with a broad coalition of industrial hydrogen users -including European representative associations : CEFIC, Fertilizers Europe, EUROFER, IFIEC and Cerame-Unie- and stakeholders from the whole hydrogen value chain, has called on the EU to consider the role of low-carbon hydrogen (LCH) in the decarbonization pathway, by excluding LCH used in industry and transport from the denominator used to calculate the binding volume objective of RFNBOs.

With the recast Renewable Energy Directive (RED3), the European Commission proposes to support the uptake of decarbonized hydrogen, notably by setting binding targets for the use of RFNBOs in industry and transport sectors. The signatories of this letter strongly support the EU’s decarbonisation objective, but highlight that focusing targets on RFNBOs without taking into account the potential of low-carbon hydrogen will slow down the decarbonization pace in industry and transport.

Involved in a global race, we urgently need to take into consideration deployment speed throughout legislation to keep the Union’s leadership on hydrogen and maintain a strong heavy industry basis in Europe. Low-carbon hydrogen is complementary to RFNBOs to scale up the final uses of hydrogen and its derivatives by unlocking the delivery of larger clean hydrogen volumes, faster, and in a steady way, which is crucial for heavy industries which switch their process to decarbonized hydrogen (e.g steel manufacturing, ammonia and methanol synthesis).

Therefore, the signatories make a compromise proposal which allows to combine ambitious RFNBOs objectives and the needed recognition of low-carbon hydrogen to meet the triple challenge of decarbonization, security of supply and industrial leadership on key sectors for net zero: excluding low-carbon hydrogen consumed in undustry and transport from the denominator used to calculate the binding volume objective of RFNBOs.

Philippe Boucly, President of France Hydrogène, said : « The following weeks will be crucial for the future of EU hydrogen industry, as well as the closely related European heavy and vital industry basis, notably steelmaking, chemicals, fertilizers and ceramics. Exploiting the complementarity between renewables and nuclear to produce and deliver hydrogen will be key to meet collectively the huge climate, economic and geopolitical challenges we face.

This industry coalition proposes a concrete solution to maintain a strong needed target on RFNBOs while recognizing the role of low-carbon hydrogen and increasing the general decarbonization objective in Member States which would make the choice to rely (partly) on low carbon hydrogen. It’s obviously a consistent win-win framework, at a time where EU Member States have no other choice but to move forward together. Let’s seize this major opportunity in the next trilogue sessions on RED3, and unlock the hydrogen potential for European decarbonization and strategic autonomy !«