Regulation of hydrogen networks

Statement by FNB Gas on the current draft bill for transitional regulation of H2 networks

The transmission system operators (TSOs) welcome the fact that the German government has recognized the urgency of creating a regulatory framework for hydrogen networks and has submitted a draft bill for consultation. First of all, it should be noted that the consultation period was very short in view of the high complexity and importance, in particular, of the regulations concerning hydrogen networks for our members. Therefore, we reserve the right to provide further comments on some aspects, if necessary.

The hydrogen network will develop predominantly from the natural gas network. From an economic and time perspective, this is the only sensible way to develop a hydrogen infrastructure. According to initial assessments, the BMWi’s draft bill on the regulation of hydrogen networks follows the approach of a strict separation between gas and hydrogen, and not only in the aspect of financing. This leads to major obstacles in the development of a coherent supra-regional hydrogen network. At best, the regulations provide a jump-start for a few large-scale projects and do not meet the goals of the National Hydrogen Strategy. From the point of view of FNB Gas, the proposed regulations will further delay the start of a sustainable, competitive hydrogen economy.

The transfer of proven natural gas regulation to hydrogen networks, with the possibility of adapting the regulatory framework to the needs of an evolving hydrogen market (“learning regulation”), remains the fastest approach to building a hydrogen infrastructure that can be implemented with legal certainty. It ensures the development of the hydrogen infrastructure from the existing natural gas network, does not exclude any customer groups and is thus economically efficient. Joint tariff financing of natural gas and hydrogen networks would provide a high degree of investment security. In the longer term, it will meet the goal of decarbonizing the gas sector. We do not share the BMWi’s view that joint fee financing of natural gas and hydrogen networks is not possible under EU law. There are renowned energy lawyers who confirm conformity with existing EU regulations.


FNB Gas statement on the draft bill for transitional regulation of H2 networks
PDF / 298 kB
FNB Gas Statement on the written hearing of the Monopolies Commission on the preparation of the 8th Energy Sector Report pursuant to Art. § Section 62 EnWG
PDF / 217 kB