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Germany eyes geographical split in new H2Global round

  • Spanish Market: E-fuels, Hydrogen
  • 12/06/24

The German government could disburse more than €3.5bn in support of renewable hydrogen production projects globally in a second round of the H2Global mechanism, according to a consultation document.

The country's economy and climate protection ministry is surveying industry participants on the proposed design and criteria for a second round of the scheme that is intended to bolster the ramp-up of global renewable hydrogen production. It committed €900mn for the scheme's first round and previously set aside more than €3.5bn for future auctions without specifying how the funds would be allocated, or across how many auctions.

The consultation document suggests the full amount could be made available in a single round.

The government's envisaged design shows financial support split across six lots (see table). Two would be for a 'vector open' category, which would entail final delivery of renewable hydrogen with suppliers free to decide which transport vector to use. This could allow for deliveries by pipeline, or for seaborne transport by vectors such as ammonia, liquid hydrogen or liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs). If transport vectors are used, suppliers would be responsible for converting the supply back to gaseous hydrogen.

One of these lots — which would probably include a €300mn funding contribution from the Netherlands — would be open for projects anywhere in the world, and one would be specifically for European projects. The first round was open only to projects outside the EU.

The four other slots are referred to as 'product open' and would be available to deliveries of renewable hydrogen or derivatives, such as ammonia, e-methanol, synthetic methane or sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). These are split by projects in four geographical regions.

Delivery for all lots would be to points of sale in Germany or the Netherlands.

The H2Global scheme aims to close the gap between the costs of production and the price that customers are willing to pay. Specialised entity Hintco will buy renewable hydrogen and/or derivatives through 10-year contracts with suppliers and sell the products through one-year contracts, with government funds to cover the expected price difference.

The consultation mentions a 2026-36 timeframe. This could refer to the envisaged 10-year delivery period, although 2026 would be a highly ambitious start date for deliveries given the mechanism is targeting projects that are yet to be developed.

The first round, split into specific lots for ammonia, e-methanol and e-SAF, was concluded in early 2023. Winners have yet to be announced.

Interested participants can submit responses to the consultation until 22 July, after which the design will be finalised.

Proposed lots for H2Global second round
RegionType of lotBudget range (in €mn)*
EuropeVector open600 - 1100
GlobalVector open600†
North AmericaProduct open300 - 600
AsiaProduct open300 - 600
AfricaProduct open300 - 600
South America & OceaniaProduct open300 - 600
*total budget allocated would not exceed €3.531bn; † of which Germany's contribution will be €300mn, with the rest likely to come from the Dutch government

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19/07/24

Von der Leyen faces new Green Deal challenges

Von der Leyen faces new Green Deal challenges

The president promises a ‘clean industrial deal', but will need to make compromises over climate policy, writes Dafydd ab Iago Brussels, 19 July (Argus) — Ursula von der Leyen's re-election by the European Parliament as president of the European Commission on 18 July promises to see a doubling down on climate and energy policy, with her 2024-29 mandate stipulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cuts of at least 90pc by 2040 compared with 1990. "I have not forgotten how [Russian president Vladimir] Putin blackmailed us by cutting us off from Russian fossil fuels. We invested massively in homegrown cheap renewables and this enabled us to break free from dirty Russian fossil fuels," von der Leyen says, promising to end the "era of dependency on Russian fossil fuels". She has not given an end date for this, nor specified if this includes a commitment to ending Russian LNG imports. Von der Leyen went on to detail political guidelines for 2024-29. She has pledged to propose a "clean industrial deal" in the first 100 days of her new mandate, albeit without giving concrete figures about how much investment this would channel to infrastructure and industry, particularly for energy-intensive sectors. The clean industrial deal will help bring down energy bills, she says. Von der Leyen told parliament that the commission would propose legislation, under the European Climate Law, establishing a 90pc emissions-reduction target for 2040. Her political guidelines also call for scaling up and prioritising investment in clean technologies, including grid infrastructure, storage capacity, transport for captured CO2, energy efficiency, power digitalisation and a hydrogen network. She plans to extend aggregate demand mechanisms beyond gas to include hydrogen and critical raw materials, and notes the dangers of dependencies and fraying supply chains — from Putin's energy blackmail to China's monopoly on battery and chip raw materials. Majority report Passing the necessary legislation to implement her stated policies will now require approval from EU states and parliament. Unless amplified by Germany's election next year, election victories by far-right parties in France and elsewhere appear not to threaten EU state majorities for specific legislation. Parliament's political centre-left S&D and liberal Renew groups, as well as von der Leyen's own centre-right European People's Party (EPP), have elaborated key policy requests. These broadly call for the continuation of the European Green Deal — a set of legislation and policy measures aimed at 55pc GHG emissions reductions by 2030 compared with 1990. A symbolic issue for von der Leyen to decide on — or compromise on — is that of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. EPP wants to stick to technological neutrality and revise the current mandate for sales of new ICE cars to be phased out by 2035, if they cannot run exclusively on carbon-neutral fuels. The EPP wants an e-fuel, biofuel and low-carbon fuel strategy. Von der Leyen's guidelines reflect the need to gain support from centre-right, centre-left and greens. She says the 2035 climate neutrality target for new cars creates investor and manufacturer "predictability" but requires a "technology-neutral approach, in which e-fuels have a role to play". She has not mentioned carbon-neutral biofuels. It will be impossible for von der Leyen to satisfy all demands in her second mandate. This includes policy requests put forward by the EPP, ranging from a "pragmatic" definition of low-carbon hydrogen and market rules for carbon capture and storage, to postponing the EU's deforestation regulation. EU member states are expected to propose their candidates for commissioners in August, including for energy, climate and trade policy, with von der Leyen's new commission subject to a final vote in parliament in late October. Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

EU’s von der Leyen re-elected as Commission president


18/07/24
18/07/24

EU’s von der Leyen re-elected as Commission president

Brussels, 18 July (Argus) — The European Parliament today approved Ursula von der Leyen's re-election as president of the European Commission. Nominated by EU states in June, von der Leyen received 401 votes, by secret ballot, from parliament's 720 newly elected members. Von der Leyen called for continuing climate and energy policy in her 2024-29 mandate to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) cuts of at least 90pc by 2040 from 1990 levels. "I have not forgotten how [Russian president Vladimir] Putin blackmailed us by cutting us off from Russian fossil fuels. We invested massively in homegrown cheap renewables. And this enabled us to break free from dirty Russian fossil fuels," said von der Leyen, promising to end the "era of dependency on Russian fossil fuels". She did not give an end date for this, nor did she specify if this includes a commitment to end Russian LNG imports. Von der Leyen went on to detail political guidelines for 2024-29. In the first 100 days of her new mandate, she pledged to propose a "clean industrial deal", albeit without giving concrete figures about how much investment this would channel to infrastructure and industry, particularly for energy-intensive sectors. The clean industrial deal will help bring down energy bills, she said. Von der Leyen told parliament the commission would propose legislation, under the European Climate Law, establishing a 90pc emission-reduction target for 2040. Her political guidelines also call for scaling up and prioritising clean-tech investment, including in grid infrastructure, storage capacity, transport infrastructure for captured CO2, energy efficiency, power digitalization, and deployment of a hydrogen network. She will also extend aggregate demand mechanisms beyond gas to include hydrogen and critical raw materials. Her political guidelines note the dangers of dependencies or fraying supply chains, from Putin's "energy blackmail" or China's monopoly on battery and chip raw materials. Majority report Passing the necessary legislation to implement her stated policies will now require approval from EU states and from parliament. Unless amplified by Germany's election next year, election victories by far-right parties in France and elsewhere appear not to threaten EU state majorities for specific legislation. Parliament's political centre-left S&D and liberal Renew groups, as well as von der Leyen's own centre-right EPP, have elaborated key policy requests . These broadly call for the continuation of von der Leyen's Green Deal, the set of legislation and policy measures aimed at 55pc GHG emission reduction by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. A symbolic issue for von der Leyen to decide, or compromise on, is the internal combustion engine (ICE). Her EPP group wants to stick to technological neutrality and to revise the phase-out, by 2035, of new ICE cars if they cannot run exclusively on carbon-neutral fuels. The EPP wants an EU e-fuel, biofuel, and low-carbon fuel strategy. Von der Leyen's guidelines reflect the need to gain support from centre-right, centre-left, and greens. For the ICE phase-out, she said the 2035 climate neutrality target for new cars creates investor and manufacturer "predictability" but requires a "technology-neutral approach, in which e-fuels have a role to play." She made no mention of carbon-neutral biofuels. It will be impossible for von der Leyen to satisfy all demands in her second mandate. That includes policy asks put forward by the EPP, ranging from a "pragmatic" definition of low-carbon hydrogen, market rules for carbon capture and storage, postponing the EU's deforestation regulation, to catering more for farmers, even by scrapping EU wildlife protection for wolves and bears. EU member states are expected to propose their candidates for commissioners in August, including those responsible for energy, climate, and trade policies. When parliament has held hearings for candidates in late October, von der Leyen's new commission would then be subject to a final vote. By Dafydd ab Iago Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Spain includes SAF, marine fuels in renewables targets


17/07/24
17/07/24

Spain includes SAF, marine fuels in renewables targets

London, 17 July (Argus) — Spain will start counting sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) and marine fuels towards its renewable energy targets, the government said. Starting from the 2024 financial year, SAFs and marine fuels will count toward meeting targets for sale or consumption of biofuels. A multiplier of 1.2 will be applied to the energy content of the fuels. An EU-wide SAF mandate will come into effect in 2025 that will set a minimum target of 2pc. The target rises to 6pc from 1 January 2030 and to 20pc from 1 January 2035, with a minimum share of 5pc of synthetic aviation fuels. The law defines synthetic aviation fuels as certified renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO) that includes renewable hydrogen and derivatives such as e-methanol, e-ammonia and e-kerosene. EU states must bring this into their national legislation in line with the revised renewables directive by 21 May 2025. Spain's new remit also introduces hydrogen , biogas and RFNBOs . These will be double counted under Spain's biofuels certification system. By Evelina Lungu Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

EU must review 'overly ambitious' H2 targets: Audit


17/07/24
17/07/24

EU must review 'overly ambitious' H2 targets: Audit

Hamburg, 17 July (Argus) — The EU needs a "reality check" on "overly ambitious targets" for renewable hydrogen production and imports, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) has said. The European Commission's RePowerEU targets of producing 10mn t/yr renewable hydrogen by 2030 and importing the same amount were based on "political will" rather than "a robust analysis," the ECA said in a report on EU renewable hydrogen policy. The bloc is "unlikely to meet" the targets "based on available information from member states and industry". Some industry participants have for a long time criticised the EU goals as unrealistic . In a response to the ECA's report, the commission said it "acknowledges the challenges" associated with reaching these "aspirational targets". The commission said it will "assess whether the aspirational targets can be reached," but noted it "cannot commit to any update at this stage". It said the underlying objectives "are still valid" and that "a downward review of the targets" could increase uncertainties for investors. But earlier this year, an assessment in which the commission set out scenarios for the energy sector anticipated much lower domestic renewable hydrogen production of around 3mn t/yr by 2030 . The commission told Argus at the time that the RePowerEU projections for 2030 would be reviewed once member states have submitted updated national and energy climate plans (NECPs). These were due by the end of June, but only a few member states submitted them on time . Responding to the ECA report, the commission said it would accept a recommendation to review its hydrogen strategy more broadly — including incentive mechanisms, the prioritisation of funds and the role of imports compared with domestic production — noting it would take the NECPs into account for this. EU funding could amount to €18.8bn in 2021-27, based on the ECA's estimates. But the commission itself "does not have a full overview of needs or of the public funding available," the ECA said. Funding opportunities are "scattered between several programmes," which makes it "difficult for companies to determine the type of funding best suited for a given project," it said. The ECA acknowledged that progress has been made on key regulatory areas, including a definition of renewable hydrogen. But the body notes that this took a long time, leading to investment decisions for projects being delayed. By Stefan Krumpelmann Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Shell quits Swedish e-SAF plant plan


05/07/24
05/07/24

Shell quits Swedish e-SAF plant plan

Hamburg, 5 July (Argus) — Shell has exited a planned renewable hydrogen-based sustainable aviation fuel (e-SAF) project in Sweden, and it and utility Vattenfall will not take up an €80.2mn ($87mn) EU Innovation Fund grant. "Vattenfall and Shell have agreed to pause their collaboration" on the HySkies project that they launched in 2021, the Swedish firm said. It had said in February there was "a different belief in timelines for the project to be realised" and that the companies had "agreed to open up the collaboration for potential other partners to join Vattenfall." The company reiterated this today, noting it is still reviewing the project and is seeking other partners. Shell sees "a future" in HySkies, "including opportunities for future potential collaborations". It recently paused construction of a biofuels plant in Rotterdam, and said today it expects to write down up to $1bn against that project. The Swedish collaboration initially also involved US biojet producer Lanzatech, but Vattenfall did not specify whether the firm remains part of the plans. The companies "have requested for a termination of the grant agreement for financial support via the EU Innovation Fund," Vattenfall said today. The companies are "considering it is infeasible for the project to succeed within the framework of that agreement and [are] aiming to free up funds for others to use in their ambitions to decarbonise," Vattenfall said. HySkies was selected for the grant in January 2023 . The project in Sweden's eastern Forsmark region was envisaged to produce around 82,000 t/yr of e-SAF and 9,000 t/yr of renewable diesel, using hydrogen from a 200MW electrolysis plant, biogenic CO2 captured from a waste-to-energy plant and sustainable ethanol. It was slated to start operations in March 2027 and required capital costs were estimated at close to €780mn. E-SAF has been touted by some as one of the most promising commercial opportunities for hydrogen derivatives , primarily because of clear EU mandates that will oblige its use from 2030. Vattenfall said it might pursue different options in the Forsmark region as well, noting "the full potential" for decarbonising heavy industry in the area is "under review". HySkies is not the first project for which developers have returned EU Innovation Fund grants. German utility Uniper said earlier this year it had to hand back a grant awarded last year after its plans got delayed because it could not secure a power purchase agreement from a wind power developer. By Stefan Krumpelmann Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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