A group of seven EU countries led by Germany have rejected calls to incorporate nuclear-made hydrogen into the bloc’s green transport targets, reigniting a dispute with France that has held back an agreement on the bloc’s renewable energy directive.
In a letter to the European Commission, the seven countries reiterate their opposition to including nuclear power in calculating green transport fuel targets.
“We share the view that the production and use of low-carbon hydrogen and low-carbon fuels should not be incentivised through a directive on the promotion of renewable energy,” says the letter, dated 16 March and signed by Austria, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Spain.
France and eight other EU countries have called for exempting nuclear-derived fuels from green transport targets in the renewables directive. In practice, this would be done by withdrawing those from the denominator used to calculate binding targets for green transport fuels.
Paris says the move is not intended to limit the potential of renewable hydrogen but to ensure that electrolysers installed in Europe can work at maximum capacity by drawing on both renewable and nuclear electricity sources.
This pro-nuclear coalition includes Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, France, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.