The nuclear lobby cut off the EU’s renewable energy ambitions – Dagsavisen

The nuclear lobby cut off the EU’s renewable energy ambitions – Dagsavisen

France, along with eight other EU countries, has long argued that nuclear power should be seen as a zero-emissions technology when it comes to greenhouse gases. They thought this should be able to be used to produce what is called green hydrogen. something they partially succeeded in When the Commission recently presented the rules for hydrogen production.

But proponents of nuclear power went further when, in the week before Easter, they refused to agree to an increase in the EU’s renewable energy requirement to 45 percent of total energy consumption by 2030. They didn’t want to go further than 40, but they They agreed to 42.5 after receiving formulas that boost nuclear energy.

Lots of nuclear power – fewer renewables

Countries like France and Sweden have low emissions from their electricity production. In France, because the country’s dominant energy source is nuclear energy, and Sweden because it has nuclear energy and hydroelectric power.

“The text states that low-carbon emitting countries are required to use less renewable energy in hydrogen production than other countries. This effectively reduces the industry’s requirement to shift to renewables,” wrote Political Director Luke Haywood of the European Environment Bureau (EEB) in a mail. Letter to Energy and Climate.

EEB is a network of 180 climate and environmental organizations in more than 30 countries.

The compromise reached by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament with the help of the Commission is that hydrogen produced by nuclear power is considered low carbon.

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Nuclear power posed renewed goals

Haywood continues: “To my knowledge, this is the first time that renewable energy targets have been altered in any way by other low-carbon technologies, thus undermining the goal of the Renewable Energy Directive.”

In his email, he recalls that a number of member states along with the Commission and European Parliament have argued for at least 45 percent as a target. But it ended up at 42.5 plus 2.5 percent which is voluntary.

“Both goals will please those countries that hope nuclear power will help them decarbonise,” Haywood concludes.

After marathon negotiations that lasted 14 hours, an agreement was reached on the morning of March 30. The nuclear power states were numerous enough to block the agreement. The final agreement that has now been concluded must be approved by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers before it can become law.

At the same time that EU countries were arguing about the role of nuclear power in steering renewables, Germany broke off an already-negotiated agreement to halt the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines after 2035. Without a deal, everyone is left behind, and the EU may risk not Acceptance of a potential proposal by the Council.

Friends of nuclear power are satisfied

And those who advocated the recognition of nuclear energy as emission-free were completely satisfied.

According to the head of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament, Frenchman Pascal Canvin, the compromise solution recognizes the special role of nuclear energy. “It’s neither green nor fossil,” he wrote on Twitter.

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The reason for this is that hydrogen produced by electrolysis from nuclear power plants is low carbon.

French Energy Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher He said the agreement was an important step towards recognizing the role of nuclear energy in reducing emissions.

Need nuclear energy

In connection with the EU summit at the end of March, the Swedish Prime Minister, Ulf Christersonclearly about the role of nuclear energy.

– He said we fundamentally share France’s view that nuclear energy is a very crucial part of climate change.

It was Sweden that led the negotiations on behalf of the member states and formulated the compromise.

Within a few years, nuclear energy has gained significantly increased recognition in the European Union. Together with gas energy, under certain strict conditions, it is described as a sustainable investment in the European Union. It is included in the rating.

Quite simply, nuclear power is being phased out in Germany and it has its strong opponents also in other countries such as Denmark, Austria and Luxembourg.

At the end of March, 11 countries gathered behind a letter warning against including nuclear energy as part of the renewables goal, while at least nine countries, before reaching a compromise, wanted to include it.

Under French leadership, as many as 13 countries have recently signed that they want “useful industrial and financial frameworks for new nuclear energy projects” to be needed. Reuters.

Alf Ole Ask is energy and climate correspondent in Brussels. Ask writes about what is happening in the field of climate and energy in the European Union, and how it affects us in Norway. energy and climate He is Norwegian Climate Foundation Online newspaper. The position in Brussels is supported by Agenda Westlandet, Freit Ord and Bergesen Foundation.

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