Brussels shoots down Dutch plan to subsidize hydrogen to replace fossil fuels
The European Commission turned down Dutch plans to support hydrogen production with subsidies. The government of the Netherlands wants to use hydrogen instead of other fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but because the Dutch plans got shot down, this will not be continued, Climate Minister Eric Wiebes told the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Parliament, on Monday, according to FD.
The government saw possibilities to replace oil, natural gas and coal by hydrogen, especially within heavy industry. In the Netherlands, industry accounts for more than 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast to fossil fuels, no carbon dioxide is released when using hydrogen, provided that the hydrogen is produced in a sustainable manner.
Hydrogen is seen as an environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional fossil fuels. By oxidizing molecular hydrogen, the only direct by-product of their energy generation is water, which means they could significantly reduce pollution by man-made greenhouse gases.
To make hydrogen in a ‘green’ manner, a great deal of energy is needed from other sustainable sources. The Dutch government planned for this energy to eventually come from windmills or solar parks.
But as electricity in the Netherlands is still mainly generated from natural gas and coal, producing hydrogen in the country would only increase carbon emissions for the time being, the European Commission said.