Politico News

Blue and low-carbon hydrogen – POLITICO

The source of daily information on energy and climate in France.

Pro Energy & Climate Morning France



Information and tips to share? Write to Nicolas Camut, Aude Le Gentil and Arthur Nazaret | View in browser

— Hydrogen: the sector is divided on the definition of “low-carbon”.

— In Saint-Nazaire, wind power players want to arrive safely.

— The National Commission for Public Debate counterattacks.

Hello everyone, it is Thursday May 2. The government did not want an energy-climate programming law, saying it could not find a majority. The parliamentarians answer him “Chiche”.

And three. First the ecologists, who proposed their bill at the end of March – abandoned at the end of the committee. Then the LR senators, who are refining their own text, which we spoke to you about at the beginning of the week and who hope to vote on it before the end of June. Finally, the deputies of the LIOT group, whose niche arrives in mid-June, and who propose an update of “France’s energy planning”, largely inspired by the environmentalist PPL. Its inclusion on the agenda “has not yet been decided”, its author, Benjamin Saint-Huile, tells your newsletter.

FLAMMABLE DEFINITION. The hydrogen sector is divided over a proposed shutdown which could make it possible to label hydrogen produced from fossil energy as “low carbon”. This text, which yours truly has consulted, defines the maximum greenhouse gas emissions threshold and the methodology for qualifying hydrogen as “renewable” or “low-carbon”.

A “lax definition with regard to blue hydrogen”, denounces the lobbyist of a company in the sector. Blue hydrogen is a new addition to the gas color palette where each shade echoes its origin. It is obtained from natural gas – like gray hydrogen, which emits a lot – except that the CO2 emitted is stored and/or reused.

In annex to the draft order, it is expected that the CO2 collected can be deducted from the total emissions. This means that hydrogen obtained from fossil energy could be considered “low-carbon” and benefit from public support mechanisms.

Enough to make certain actors choke, on the side of renewable energy producers. “Beyond greenwashing, it is greenhouse gases that will escape CO2 quotas, but also public money that will finance dependence on fossils and penalize renewables,” laments the lobbyist already cited. A sector federation is concerned that all modes of production – renewable, nuclear or CO2 capture – are thus put on the same level.

A text “too restrictive”argues the opposite from the France Gaz association: “The criteria are not adapted for blue hydrogen, at the risk of a contradiction with the definition which is being negotiated at European level. »

H-6 for H2. Everyone is weighing the opportunity to table amendments before the examination of the text by the Higher Energy Council next Tuesday. They have until this afternoon, 4 p.m., to do so.

At 10:30 a.m., hearing of Thomas Buberl, general director of AXA, by the senatorial commission of inquiry into TotalEnergies.

This afternoon, trip by ministers Bruno Le Maire and Roland Lescure to Saint-Nazaire dedicated to offshore wind power.

BITTER WIND TURBINES. Ministers Bruno Le Maire and Roland Lescure have promised announcements this afternoon in Saint-Nazaire to encourage the use of French industries in offshore wind power. They should also announce an inter-inspection mission on the adaptation of taxation on wind farms, the results of which are expected by the summer. But the stakeholders surveyed by your newsletter are waiting for details on the calendar.

Headwind. “We observe the slowness with which the State is moving forward. This is very worrying. We expect an acceleration in calls for tenders,” says a major energy company. Everyone has in mind the AO5 call for tenders, in the south of Brittany. The announcement of the winner has already been postponed twice. A priori, it is not for today but the sector is waiting for at least a date, while entry into service is planned for 2031.

Mystery. This delay gives rise to all fantasies and all interpretations. “It’s a mystery. Has an operator withdrawn? », asks Daniel Cueff, vice-president for the sea and the coast of the Brittany region.

Floating government. The result is all the more awaited as it is the first call for tenders for wind power off the coast floating. If the A05 remains in the tank, what will happen to the AO6, in the Mediterranean – two parks of 250 megawatts each? “The industry is worried about government atmospheres,” points out an elected official from the PACA region who knows this subject well. “We are in complete limbo,” recognizes our first energy specialist.

Diversification. “The State needs to diversify the winners a little more. If it is so that in the end it is always EDF or ENGIE, then we nationalize, it will be simpler! », Another player in offshore wind recently railed to your newsletter. The AO10, on several maritime facades and with a cumulative power of 10 gigawatts should satisfy our interlocutor.

It is not yet open, but some hope that ministers will indicate a date today. We already know that there will be several lots. This makes it possible to diversify the winners since the sweeping decree published at the end of last year.

This call for tender is crucial: “It is the one which conditions compliance with the commitment of the pact for offshore wind power, which plans to put 18 GW into service in 2035,” specifies Jules Nyssen, president of the Renewable Energies Union. At this time, we do not know the future areas concerned. They depend on the conclusions that the government draws from the debate on the sea which ended on April 26 and which it should make known in September.

THE CNDP DEBATES IN PUBLIC. The National Commission for Public Debate (CNDP) is preparing its response. Bruno Le Maire announced last week that “major industrial projects” will no longer be the subject of public debate thanks to a future regulatory text. The subject is on the agenda of the committee plenary today. The response will take the form of a press release, signed by its president Marc Papinutti.

“The government accuses us of delaying the development of certain major projects, we are going to give contrary arguments,” confides a member of the CNDP to my colleague Arthur Nazaret. For now, our answer remains softI hope we will do something more incisive.

Remedies requested. Our CNDP member hopes that an NGO will take up the matter and bring it to justice. “We communicate with each other by email to document the matter,” he slips. A guarantee working regularly with the CNDP denounces “a very serious attack on environmental democracy” which goes against a European directive on the impact of certain projects on the environment and the Aarhus Convention.

FNE at the forefront. Antoine Gatet, president of the FNE, says he is ready to file an appeal “if necessary”, adding: “We will see if the minister dares to follow through with this scandalous proposal and in this case we will provide our support for environmental democracy and CNDP. by recalling the basic principles of the rule of law.

IN THE WIND. After the opening of an investigation by the European Commission into the subsidies received by manufacturers of Chinese wind turbines in five countries of the European Union including France, your newsletter set out to find out which parks could be concerned in France.

Of the 2,200 French wind farms, “there are around ten which are equipped with wind turbines produced by Chinese turbine manufacturers”, calculates a lobbyist. A figure deemed “plausible” by a former Ministry of Ecological Transition.

The issue is obviously the price. “Chinese turbines are 30 to 40% cheaper” than European competition, confirms a player in the sector. “On the other hand, maintenance issues are more complicated,” he adds, noting that European suppliers offer “more security” since there are no Chinese maintenance workshops in Europe.

The European executive can request information from the companies concerned “without telling them if there is a suspicion of foreign subsidy or if it is simply to have comparative data on the market”, recalls another lobbyist. Private actors are only notified at a later stage, if the Commission decides to open an in-depth investigation. It is therefore difficult to know, for the moment, who is concerned.

What matters most, this is the political message sent to Chinese competition. “We prefer to restrict or prevent as much as possible the arrival of Chinese turbine manufacturers in Europe and particularly in France,” slips another player in the sector, who sees in the opening of the investigation a sign that the French government is proactive on the issue. subject.

— For Sylvain Waserman, president of Ademe, the French are volunteers for the ecological transition. On a few conditions, which he details in La Croix.

— New documents obtained by American senators reveal how the oil majors downplayed climate objectives and financed university research to praise the benefits of gas, deciphers the Washington Post.

— Nearly half of investment funds claiming to be “green” or “sustainable” actually invest in fossil fuels. A greenwashing alert signed Le Monde.

— The discovery of hydrogen in the basement of Folschviller, in Moselle, raises expectations, reports Reporterre.

A big thank you to our editor Alexandre Léchenet.


Sara Adm

Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe.Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
Back to top button