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Red Tape Is Undermining European Clean Energy Projects

Clean energy projects across the EU are failing to reach completion due to red tape, Miguel Stilwell d'Andrade, the chief executive of Portugal’s biggest utility, Energias de Portugal (EDP), told Reuters at the Davos economic forum.

While the European Commission has laid the project execution and subsidy criteria at the EU level with “great vision”, “The crux is the national governments transposing them,” d'Andrade told Reuters on the sidelines of the forum in Davos. 

Red tape regarding clean energy projects, especially in green hydrogen, is holding back the industry and the EU targets, according to the executive.

“In the US, if you produce 1 kilo of green hydrogen, you get 3 dollars,” d'Andrade told Reuters.

“In Europe, I need to submit a room full of paper.”

By the time the paperwork within the European Union is processed, “the world has changed,” the executive added.

EDP’s Brazilian unit began producing green hydrogen in December 2022 in a pilot project.

In the middle of 2023, EDP said that the European Commission had selected EDP projects to receive European Union Innovation Funds. Out of 13 selected projects under the Industry Electrification and Hydrogen category, EDP won with its project GreenH2Atlantic, which will install around 100 MW of electrolyzers in Sines, and with the Asturias H2 Valley project, which will transform Spain's Aboño plant and include 150 MW of electrolyzers.

The European Union’s renewables strategy includes the ambition to produce 10 million tons and import 10 million tons of renewable hydrogen in the EU by the end of this decade.

The European Commission has outlined a 'hydrogen accelerator' concept to scale up the deployment of green hydrogen, which, the EC says, will contribute to accelerating the energy transition and decarbonizing the EU's energy system.

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Industry officials believe that the EU needs to revise some provisions in the hydrogen regulation in the coming years to make Europe's hydrogen industry globally competitive.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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