(Montel) Only hydrogen produced with renewable energy met eligibility standards under the EU’s renewable energy directive, according to a study published on Monday.
The findings come as the EU prepares recommendations to support hydrogen as an energy carrier that can cut emissions in industrial sectors that depend on fossil fuels and in power generation, which needs long-term sources of clean energy storage.
Hydrogen produced through biomethane or through natural gas in conjunction with carbon capture and storage (CCS) had the potential to deliver significant emissions reduction, the study said.
Yet it was possible these methods could emit even more greenhouse gases than fossil alternatives to hydrogen.
“This is due to the potentially high methane leakage rate during biomethane production or from upstream natural gas extraction and transporting.”
The study noted CCS had the potential to sequester up to 99.9% of associated carbon emissions with fossil-based hydrogen production.
“However, it is unlikely to achieve that capture rate for economic reasons. Current industrial practices can only capture approximately 55% of the total CO2 generated during hydrogen production.”
The ICCT recommended the European Commission not encourage fossil-based hydrogen under its review of the renewable energy directive or upcoming legislative packages for clean gasses.
It also recommended excluding crop-based biomethane from climate policies.
“This is because of the significant GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions emerging from direct and indirect land use change associated with crop growing, which fails to meet decarbonisation goals.”