Regulating the future European hydrogen grid
In its 2020 Hydrogen Strategy, the European Commission envisions a comprehensive European hydrogen economy as a corner stone of the European Union’s goal to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. A central element of the future EU hydrogen economy will be a functioning internal market featuring competition and cross-border trade. According to the Commission’s vision, an integrated European hydrogen pipeline transport system will be critical for realizing this market. Following a tradition of both liberalizing and regulating sectors that feature natural monopolies (e.g. electricity transmission and natural gas transport), the EC aims to establish a regulatory framework for the future European hydrogen market.
This research explores how the regulation of European hydrogen transport infrastructure could contribute to achieving the swift ramp-up of a European hydrogen economy while equally guaranteeing a functioning integrated market. In principle, existing European natural gas and electricity networks’ regulations constitute a blueprint for future adaptable hydrogen market’s regulations as well. However, there are a few unique and crucial aspects to regulating a still nascent European hydrogen market. As a result, a European regulation for hydrogen transport infrastructure arguably needs to combine existing provisions of EU regulatory frameworks with new and different approaches.