Hydrogen liquefaction plant in Nünchritz, Saxony
Photo: IMAGO/Sylvio Dittrich
The European Commission also wants to classify hydrogen produced with nuclear power as "green" under certain conditions.
If electricity for the necessary electrolysis from a network with a high proportion of nuclear energy and thus low CO2 emissions is used, this could be labeled as green hydrogen, the commission proposed on Monday after long negotiations.
Another requirement is that the network operator has concluded a long-term purchase agreement for renewable electricity in the region.
This is intended to accelerate the expansion of wind and solar power at the same time.
The regulation is also intended to prevent existing green electricity capacities from being absorbed by hydrogen producers and no longer being available for other types of use.
A majority of member states and parliament can still object to the EU proposal, but this is considered unlikely.
With the new guidelines, Brussels wants to create a legal framework for investors in the energy sector and for state aid.
The rules should apply to producers within the EU as well as to producers based in third countries.
According to the Commission, the EU wants to produce ten million tons of green hydrogen itself by 2030 and import another ten million tons.
The role of nuclear power could now again cause trouble between Germany and France.
The two countries are planning a joint hydrogen pipeline from Spain via France to Germany.
The government in Paris also explicitly relies on so-called red hydrogen, which is produced with nuclear energy and emphasizes that it is low in emissions.
Nuclear power is "not renewable energy," said a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Economics on Monday in Berlin about the plans of the EU Commission.
Germany would primarily like to use “green hydrogen”, which is produced exclusively from renewable energies.
Spain also takes this position, as the Spanish Environment Ministry said on Monday.
According to a report in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", the government in Paris is now threatening to block the construction of the pipeline.
The EU Parliament and the member states now have two months to examine the European Commission's proposal for a definition of green hydrogen.
However, a large majority is required to reject it.
At member state level, at least 20 countries, representing 65 percent of the EU population, would have to oppose it.