With the publication of the ordinance, hydrogen makes its grand entrance into the energy code. Alongside electricity, gas, hydraulic energy and biofuels, a new Book VIII has been created specifically for all provisions concerning hydrogen.
This introduction reflects the public authorities' recognition of the role that this energy carrier must play in decarbonizing the economy and integrating renewable energies. In Brussels, as everywhere else in Europe, hydrogen is a major component of the strategies towards carbon neutrality in 2050.
The measures taken are also a response to an objective that is part of the national energy policy, i.e. "to develop low-carbon and renewable hydrogen and its industrial, energy and mobility uses, with the prospect of reaching approximately 20 to 40% of total hydrogen and industrial hydrogen consumption by 2030" (art. 100-4 of the energy code). To achieve this, the State has set a target of 6.5 GW of electrolysis capacity by 2030.

The first interest of the ordinance is to provide a clear and readable terminology for hydrogen. Between green, blue, turquoise, yellow or grey hydrogen, the often ambiguous approach by colors is abandoned in favor of definitions that emphasize the environmental attributes of hydrogen.
Respecting a principle of technological neutrality, the proposed categories highlight the primary energy source used or the associated greenhouse gas emissions. The typology includes three categories:

- Renewable hydrogen, produced from renewable energy sources and whose production process respects a threshold of CO2 equivalent emissions per kilogram of hydrogen produced. This category includes electrolysis using renewable electricity (solar, wind, hydro), as well as any other production process using renewable energies and "not conflicting with other uses allowing their direct recovery" (pyrogasification or thermolysis of biomass, steam reforming of biogas).

- Low-carbon hydrogen, produced from non-renewable energy sources and respecting the same kgCO2eq/kgH2 threshold. Electrolysis powered by electricity from the French electricity mix would qualify, as well as processes combining carbon capture, sequestration or utilization (CCSU) techniques that can significantly reduce CO2 emissions at the plant gate.

- Carbonaceous hydrogen is neither renewable nor low-carbon hydrogen. It includes fossil fuel-based production, such as hydrogen produced by steam reforming of natural gas (about 11 kgCO2/kgH2), by coal gasification (20 kgCO2/kgH2) or by electrolysis powered by carbon-based electricity mixes.

But also potentially production from renewable energies that would not qualify for the emission threshold. This could concern, for example, hydrogen produced from biomass or biogas, depending on the nature of the inputs used and the associated carbon footprint, or even depending on the methane leaks taken into account upstream.

The appropriate emission threshold will then have to be defined by regulation. This choice will be made in conjunction with European discussions on green taxonomy, and should be compatible with a low-carbon electricity mix.

The method for calculating greenhouse gas emissions from the various production processes will be another key point to be determined, which ADEME has already studied.

The ordinance also includes in its scope co-produced hydrogen (during a third party production process) and self-consumed hydrogen.

These projects must be continued to support the development of the industry and build a competitive hydrogen market by 2030.