This dissertation examines the question who can be held liable for damages caused by biomethane injection and hydrogen blending. First, the European and Dutch developments in the gas sector are discussed, in particular the process of European energy market liberalisation and -integration with a particular focus on the liberalisation of the Dutch gas market. As a result, the number of players has increased and there has been a shift in responsibilities. These responsibilities are partly embedded in the law and partly embedded in contracts. For this reason, the statutory duties and responsibilities and contractual relationships are discussed. The contracts are, as far as is possible, defined according to private law. They are discussed briefly with a special focus on liability clauses. Thereafter the legal grounds for liability in the Dutch Civil Code are assessed. In particular, liability for defective goods, defective structures, hazardous substances and defective products. The liability for wrongful acts was discussed as well. In order to answer the central research question a case study approach with two scenarios was chosen. In both scenarios, the end user suffers damage. One of the conclusions is that in the underlying contractual relationships, not all situations of liability are clearly delimited. In addition, the agreement between the distribution system operator and small end users contains a liability clause that is voidable because it is unreasonable onerous. Furthermore, the producer can be held liable based on ‘product liability’ when he injects biomethane that does not meet the gas quality criteria, unless he can prove that he was not aware nor should be aware of this defect. Considering the liability of the distribution system operator, a discrepancy between the Gas Act and the Civil Code exists. With regard to strict liability for hazardous substances and defective structures, the system operator will no longer liable under the Civil Code when the gas comes in the part of the grid that enters a structure, while the Gas Act stretches this liability to the measuring device.
|Translated title of the contribution||The Dutch gas value chain in a liberalised market: contractual and non-contractual liability of biomethane injection and hydrogen blending.|
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Place of Publication||[Groningen]|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|