Position Paper for a Clean Hydrogen Alliance: Hydrogen From Electricity – Setting Sustainability Standards

As the long awaited Clean Hydrogen Alliance is set to launch this week, Bellona outlines the basic requirements to ensure Europe’s hydrogen strategy delivers its core promise, more specifically that of enabling a Clean powered future.

Sustainability criteria including most up to date data on carbon grid intensity is a basic requirement for clean hydrogen. We call for a realistic take on where we are to build the net-zero world of tomorrow, instead of using the net-zero accounting rules that overlook the CO2 intensity of the electricity used in the next decade to power up our hydrogen powered EU. Ignoring this risk management strategy could set us on a path to a not-so-clean, fossil fuel intensive, future.

Within our recommendations:

Renewable Hydrogen / Low carbon Hydrogen / Clean Hydrogen that is produced from electricity requires Sustainability Criteria to deliver emissions reductions, increase renewable deployment and to prevent greenwashing of fossil fuels.

  •   Alignment with Sustainability Taxonomy.
    o 100g CO2/KWh threshold electricity consumption ensures that low carbon electricity is used to produce low carbon hydrogen and that financial flows support innovation in line with the principles of the EU Green Deal.
  • Correct tracking and logging of electricity used in the production of low carbon hydrogen. As in the REDII “methodology should ensure that there is a temporal and geographical correlation between the electricity production unit with which the producer has a bilateral renewables power purchase agreement and the fuel production.”
    o A Temporal Dimension (when is the low carbon / renewable electricity generated). Knowing the timing of generation allows for the hydrogen production unit to follow in real time real world low carbon generation. This means the hydrogen electrolysis unit only consumes low carbon electricity and thus produces low carbon hydrogen.
    o A Geographical Dimension (is the electricity generation connected in some way, such as via a shared electricity network, to the hydrogen production unit)

Find our position paper as it follows:

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