Open letter to EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans: The Delegated Act of the EU Commission threatens sustainable hydrogen pioneer projects such as eFarm

Reußenköge, 16 June 2022
The EU Commission wants to regulate when hydrogen in the transport sector is green and sustainable with a Delegated Act. However, the current draft discriminates against existing electrolysers that are directly connected to renewable energy plants. The eFarm hydrogen mobility project initiated by GP JOULE would also be affected. There would be little chance of producing green hydrogen for mobility competitively in the future. That is why the managing directors and founders of GP JOULE, Ove Petersen and Heinrich Gärtner, have written an Open Letter to the Vice-President of the EU Commission and Climate Action Commissioner Frans Timmermans.

[The Open Letter to Climate Action Commissioner and EU Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans can be found here.]

The Delegated Act in its current draft "punishes the first movers of the energy transition", Gärtner and Petersen write to Timmermans. It affects those who were the first to set up renewable energy plants more than 20 years ago. “It penalises 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.“

The Delegated Act to Article 27 of the Renewable Energy Directive is intended to define when hydrogen provided for the transport sector is truly sustainable. The aim is also to ensure that additional wind and solar power plants are built for producing green hydrogen. The problem here is: Article 8 of the Delegated Act does not grant protection (grandfathering) to existing sustainable hydrogen projects whose electrolysers are directly connected to renewable energy plants. This also includes eFarm. 
The plants that supply eFarm with renewable electricity are directly connected to the electrolysers. These are not new plants, but wind turbines that have been in operation for more than 20 years and whose EEG (Renewable Energy Sources Act) subsidies have expired. The electricity purchased from these plants and used to produce hydrogen would not be considered sustainable under the current draft of the Delegated Act.

eFarm and similar projects would therefore not be able to generate green house gas quotas in the future and would thus have little chance of competitively producing green hydrogen for mobility.

The Delegated Act discriminates against those who have long been helping to achieve the EU Commission's targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions produced by the transport sector.

To prevent this, Gärtner and Petersen propose a simple solution in their Open Letter to EU Commissioner Timmermans: Article 8 of the delegated act must also grant grandfathering to existing installations with direct electricity supply, as is also provided for all other existing plants.

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The Open Letter to Climate Action Commissioner and EU Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans can be found here.

Founded in 2009 based on the belief that a 100% renewable energy supply is feasible, GP JOULE is now a system provider for integrated energy solutions from solar, wind and biomass power as well as being a partner at the supply level for electricity, heat, hydrogen and electric mobility. GP JOULE is thus a pioneering company in sector cross-linkage. Around 500 people work for the medium-sized group of companies in Germany, Europe and North America. GP JOULE is the winner of the Schleswig-Holstein Business Environment Award 2019 and the German Renewables Award 2020.

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