In a letter to the commission the heads of the 12 companies, also including Czech nuclear operator CEZ and Finnish utility Forum, which owns and operates the Loviisa nuclear station, highlighted the importance of low-carbon hydrogen produced by electrolysis with electrolysers connected to the grid.
The letter, published on EDF’s LinkedIn feed, said electricity-based hydrogen has a key role to play in achieving the EU’s climate ambitions and a clear definition of low-carbon hydrogen should be integrated in a forthcoming gas and hydrogen policy package being prepared by the bloc.
It said hydrogen is crucial to complement direct electrification in hard-to-abate sectors including industries such as steel, cement and transport.
Initiatives have begun to transmit electricity produced by a nuclear plant – or another low-carbon energy facility such as solar – to electrolysers, which would produce what is known as “green hydrogen” for industry, transport and home heating, at the sites where the hydrogen is needed.
The technology is reasonably mature, but remains expensive. Proponents say it can be commercialised for large-scale consumer use – possibly within years – to help bring about the transition to a zero-carbon hydrogen-based economy without the need for fossil fuels.