Everyone involved in the design and implementation of hydrogen projects is eagerly awaiting the UK Government’s Hydrogen Strategy, revealed in the 2020 Energy White Paper as due for publication in “early 2021”. Meanwhile, an increasing number of hydrogen projects are already progressing towards final investment decisions with some commencing construction. There is currently no comprehensive regulatory framework for production, transportation and storage of hydrogen, leaving stakeholders facing a patchwork of rules and policies (including the Gas Act 1986 and other regulatory regimes) that were enacted before the emergence of hydrogen as a realistic fuel source and as a result, needs imaginative adaptation to meet the needs of this technology.
Gordon Nardell QC (Barrister, Twenty Essex), Cathal Leigh Doyle (Senior associate, Stephenson Harwood) and Andy Ross (Trainee, Stephenson Harwood) have written a quick-reference guide for hydrogen developers, public and private funders and off-takers looking to progress a UK hydrogen project in the meantime.
The article identifies the key regulatory milestones in the currently fragmented legislative field, focusing on England and Wales. At each stage the authors identify the main regulatory and licencing requirements that parties will have to navigate and the main bodies you will have to deal with. The article also outlines what regulatory reforms the Hydrogen Strategy might announce.