• Jeppe Høstgaard Poulsen
Renewable/green hydrogen has had a prominent role in the public debate, and policymakers have often pointed to renewable hydrogen as a key to decarbonising industry. Renewable hydrogen can be obtained by using renewable electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, and in the EU referred to as Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin (RFNBO). The EU has a target of consuming 20 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen by 2030 as part of REPowerEU. In February 2023, the European Commission published a Delegated Act (DA) that defines under which conditions hydrogen or hydrogen-based fuels can be considered an RFNBO. To understand the implications of this act, it is crucial to examine its impact on the production of RNFBOs. Therefore, the research question of this thesis is:
How will the European Commission’s delegated act on RNFBOs impact the production of RNFBOs?

The present thesis will contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory landscape surrounding RNFBO production and evaluate the DA’s impact on production cost and facility setup. The research focuses on the provisions regarding temporal correlation requirements tying the renewable electricity production to the RNFBO production on a monthly basis and after 2030; hourly. In addition, the DA includes derogations for claiming grid electricity mix as renewable, which also will be assessed, as this has been neglected in the literature. The DA prescribes that the grid-sourced electricity must be covered by renewable Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). This is likewise the centre of attention. The research was designed by conducting a qualitative analysis and then a quantitative analysis.
The qualitative analysis uses desk study and semi-structured interviews to gather empirical data. Six semi-structured interviews were conducted with RNFBO producers, consultancy bureaus, Danish Energy Agency, and finally, Energinet and EnergyTAG to get insights into granular renewable energy certificates. The quantitative analysis builds on the qualitative by creating likely RNFBO setups comprising an electrolyser and a renewable electricity supply contracted via renewable PPAs. The renewable electricity supply was identified using linear optimisation in Excel for setups at monthly and hourly matching and when introducing a fixed monthly hydrogen demand. The PPAs were structured as pay-as-produced and were assess using an off-site and behind-the-meter approach. The RNFBO production was then simulated using the simulation software EnergyPRO.

The present thesis demonstrates that the DA's influence extends beyond electricity supply and electrolysis, encompassing various project-specific factors. The GO scheme enables granular tracking and accounting of renewable electricity, supporting compliance and avoiding double claiming. The DA's impact on the design of renewable PPAs for RNFBO production involves a shift towards pay-as-produced structures and the potential use of combining PPAs to increase full-load hours. Shaped PPA structures are likely achieved by combining multiple pay-as-produced PPAs with different generation technologies, such as wind and solar, to improve the utilisation rate. However, this approach carries the risk of over-procurement, necessitating the sale of excess electricity in the Day-ahead market. The hourly matching requirements especially drive this.
The impact of the DA on production costs and facility setup is relatively insignificant, with greater sensitivity observed in utilisation rates rather than the transition from monthly to hourly matching. Pay-as-produced PPAs combined with the derogations help mitigate economic differences between monthly and hourly matching. The impact of the DA ultimately depends on geographical context, as the DA’s provisions are determined by the renewable electricity penetration in the grid to which the RNFBO production facility is connected
SpecialisationSustainable Energy Planning and Management
Publication date2023
Number of pages87
ID: 532587426