Open letter: EU endangers hydrogen pioneer projects

In an open letter to EU Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans, the CEOs and founders of German renewable energy company GP JOULE, Ove Petersen and Heinrich Gärtner, have demanded changes to the draft »Delegated Act« on Article 27 of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive. The Delegated Act is a simplified procedure for the adoption of legislation by the European Commission.
According to Petersen and Gärtner, the execution planned by the Commission threatens that projects like the »eFarm« initiated by GP Joule and opened in 2020 will lose their economic basis. This would penalize »those who were the first to tackle the production of green hydrogen, thus creating new marketing perspectives for electricity from plants that are no longer subsidised.«
For »eFarm,« wind turbines whose 20-year subsidy period had expired were connected directly to the electrolysers that produce hydrogen for fueling vehicles. In this way, a cost-effective power supply has been secured for the project. According to the EU Commission’s draft, however, hydrogen produced with renewable energies is only to be considered »green« if additional generation plants are built for this purpose. No grandfathering of existing projects like eFarm is envisaged, which is why, according to GP Joule, they would no longer be able to generate greenhouse gas quotas under the EU emissions trading scheme in the future.
Gärtner and Petersen therefore propose that the Delegated Act be amended to provide grandfathering for existing facilities with direct electricity supply.

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