Hydrogen is a versatile substance. It can be used to make fuel for transport, raw materials for industry and even food. Hydrogen is also an excellent way of storing excess electricity for when there is no wind. For climate objectives, it is essential that hydrogen is produced from renewable energy, wind, solar or even hydroelectric power. The crucial role of hydrogen is therefore played by its dependence in particular on wind power, and its considerable benefits as a form of energy storage for wind power.
Green hydrogen, i.e. hydrogen produced from renewable energy, has a special role to play in meeting the climate targets of the RED II Renewable Energy Directive, which came into force in 2018. RED II sets a binding EU target that energy from renewable sources must account for at least 32% of the Union's total energy consumption in 2030, and at least 14% of the energy used by transport must be renewable by 2030. In addition to RED II, Member States have set their own national commitments to achieve the Union's overall target, which are implemented through national legislation (in Finland, for example, Distribution Obligations Act relating to transport fuels).
In February 2023, the EU Commission adopted new rules defining the conditions under which for instance hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels can be considered renewable. The adopted delegated act complements the Renewable Energy Directive ("RED II") by introducing a mechanism to lay down detailed rules for the production of certain renewable liquid and gaseous fuels ("RFNBOs"). The delegated act is subject to approval by the Parliament and the Council. If they do not object within a deadline, the delegated act will enter into force. The harmonised assessment of hydrogen projects will thus take a step forward, as the adopted delegated act will be binding in its entirety and will be directly applicable in all EU member states.