ACM advocates step-by-step investment in hydrogen infrastructure

14.09.21

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM), the independent regulator for properly functioning markets, has shed its light on the hydrogen infrastructure. ACM has issued a memorandum about the steps it believes are necessary for an effective, efficient and predictable market for hydrogen and the required infrastructure. In addition, ACM sees that an investment in a hydrogen infrastructure in areas such as the port of Rotterdam is an obvious choice.

Hydrogen represents an important role in our future energy supply and in achieving the climate goals. We are not there yet, and the market for hydrogen and transport for hydrogen is still in its infancy. The ACM states that government investments and any regulation should ‘breathe’ with the development of the hydrogen economy. The memorandum provided by ACM about the hydrogen infrastructure is a contribution to the development of ideas about the hydrogen market.

Invest just before the market

It is interesting that ACM argues in favor of investing step by step in the required infrastructure for hydrogen. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets sees that the demand for green hydrogen will come from industry. She states that the seaports in our country are the designated locations for the first infrastructure, partly because the industrial clusters where hydrogen is needed are often present in the ports. The ACM also notes that a connection between the chemical cluster Chemelot in Limburg and Rotterdam would make sense.

ACM recommends investing first in the infrastructure of these industry clusters. Then the risk of investing in unused hydrogen infrastructure is very small and investments can grow with the market. For the time being, ACM sees no reason for regulation of the hydrogen market. The current market for gray hydrogen mainly consists of direct contracts between producers and suppliers. ACM expects that this sustainable hydrogen will initially also be the case. In addition, consideration is currently being given to possible regulation of a European hydrogen market at a European level.

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