Belgium – Before discussions on whether to recognize nuclear power under the EU’s renewable energy goals, two competing alliances of European Union nations held last-minute talks in Brussels on Tuesday.
A fundamental component of the EU’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and wean itself off Russian gas, the bloc’s plans to grow renewable energy by 2030, call for stronger EU targets, which parliamentarians and EU member states are expected to agree to one day before they are due to meet.
On Tuesday, eleven nations—including Germany and Spain—met to discuss their efforts to keep nuclear energy out of the renewable energy standards. Austria served as the meeting’s host. They claim that include nuclear in the renewable energy law would undermine efforts to significantly increase wind and solar.
Agnes Pannier-Runacher, the French energy minister, called a summit of 13 nations that support nuclear power, including the Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, and Poland.
Nine of those nations are pressing to include low-carbon hydrogen, or hydrogen produced using nuclear power, in the EU’s renewable energy targets. They contend that since both nuclear and renewable energy-based hydrogen are CO2-free, countries should be encouraged to employ them since they can hasten the transition away from fossil fuels.