The transmission system operators (TSOs) welcome the German government’s initiative to now lay the regulatory, antitrust and network planning foundations for the development of the hydrogen core network. The regulations are a key step in the development of a Germany-wide hydrogen infrastructure, which should provide market participants with planning and investment security.
“The draft amendment to the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) passed today creates the necessary conditions under antitrust law and planning law for transmission system operators to present a Germany-wide hydrogen core network. We will now work on this at full speed so that the realization of an efficient and expandable core network can begin this year after the law comes into force,” explains Barbara Fischer, Managing Director of FNB Gas.
The current proposals in the draft bill already address the first important issues relating to the financing of the core network: on the one hand, uniform network charges throughout Germany in order to ensure the same access conditions and transport charges for all transport customers from the outset. On the other hand, a cap on fees, since otherwise prohibitively high network fees would prevent a market ramp-up of hydrogen due to the infrastructure that first has to be created and the initially small number of network users, so-called anchor customers. However, numerous issues are still unresolved and need to be worked out and introduced into the legislative process in a timely manner. “It is important that by the time the core network is confirmed, we also have a financing model ready for the capital market that will enable the network operators to handle the advance financing for the development of the core network,” added Dr Thomas Gößmann, Chairman of the Board of FNB Gas.
In addition, the TSOs expressly welcome the announcement by the BMWK that comprehensive hydrogen network development planning is to be anchored in the EnWG in a second stage by the end of the year. The transmission system operators had already submitted corresponding proposals in this regard in September 2022 as part of the hydrogen report pursuant to Section 28q EnWG.