Clean or renewable - hydrogen and power-to-gas in EU energy law

Ruven Fleming*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Interest in hydrogen as a carbon-neutral energy carrier is on the rise around the globe, including in Europe. In particular, power-to-gas as a technology to transform electricity to hydrogen is receiving ample attention. This article scrutinises current updates in the energy law framework of the EU to explain the legal pre-conditions for the various possible applications of power-to-gas technology. It highlights the influence of both electricity and gas legislation on conversion, storage and transmission of hydrogen and demonstrates why 'green' hydrogen might come with certain legal privileges under the Renewable Energy Directive attached to it, as opposed to the European Commission's so-called 'clean' hydrogen. The article concludes by advocating for legal system integration in EU energy law, namely merging the currently distinct EU electricity and gas law frameworks into one unified EU Energy Act.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-63
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Energy and Natural Resources Law
Volume39
Issue number1
Early online date20-Aug-2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • power-to-gas
  • hydrogen
  • 'green' hydrogen
  • hydrogen regulation
  • EU energy law
  • legal system integration

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