May 10, 2021
Regulating the hydrogen infrastructure:
GIE sets out views for the future regulatory framework for hydrogen
The regulation of the future hydrogen infrastructure is at the core of today’s energy debates. GIE publishes a position paper presenting the views and recommendations of its 70 members from 27 European countries.
This paper outlines clear policy recommendations that will boost the establishment of the hydrogen economy. It also presents the unique benefits of the gas infrastructure in integrating hydrogen. Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) represents around 70 members from 27 European countries that own and operate the existing infrastructure, which is ready to be retrofitted and/or repurposed for transporting, storing and importing hydrogen. With the already acquired expertise, the gas infrastructure operators can build and operate new dedicated hydrogen infrastructure in safe conditions. Within the context of upcoming EU legislation, GIE presents policy recommendations to enable the gas infrastructure to efficiently integrate hydrogen, thereby contributing to the targets of the EU Green Deal.
Boyana Achovski, Secretary-General of GIE states: “Gas infrastructure operators are very well-equipped to integrate hydrogen into their systems. If we want to deliver climate neutrality by 2050 and achieving the targets of the EU Hydrogen Strategy, we need a very well-developed infrastructure for hydrogen. The existing gas infrastructure can offer that. Building on the existing gas network guarantees safe transport, storage and import of hydrogen. It also keeps the costs low for society and brings benefits to the whole energy system.”
GIE’s key policy recommendations are:
Ralph Bahke, Sponsor of GIE New Gases Area & CEO of ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH explains: “In order to kick-start the hydrogen market in the EU, an appropriate system to regulate the hydrogen infrastructure is needed. We think that the most efficient way is to build on the basic principles of the existing regulation for natural gas, while leaving Member States the flexibility to reflect on national and regional hydrogen characteristics. Now is the time to set the right regulatory framework that will enable a successful ramp-up of the hydrogen economy.”
Michael Schmöltzer, Chair of GIE Hydrogen Regulation TF & Director of Uniper Energy Storage Austria further explains: “The regulation of hydrogen should recognise the advantages that the existing transmission, storage and LNG infrastructure have for developing the hydrogen infrastructure in a timely, cost-efficient and socially acceptable way and should facilitate the efficient planning, financing and operation of the infrastructure.”
Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) is the association representing the interests of European gas infrastructure operators. GIE members are active in transmission, storage and regasification via LNG terminals of renewable and low-carbon gases, including natural gas and hydrogen. Gathering around 70 industry entities from 27 European countries, GIE perfectly embodies the multiple transitional decarbonisation pathways of the EU regions. The association’s vision is that by 2050, the gas infrastructure will be the backbone of the new innovative energy system, allowing European citizens and industries to benefit from a secure, efficient and sustainable energy supply.