In the quest to establish a coherent governance structure for the burgeoning hydrogen market in the European Union, negotiations are underway, with divergent views and proposed models vying for consensus.

As the European Commission’s plan for a singular overseeing entity faces resistance, a compromise proposal by the Spanish presidency gains momentum in Brussels.

The central goal is to define a regulatory framework that dictates the governance of the EU’s hydrogen market. Proposals by the European Commission emphasize the creation of a unified body, the European Network of Network Operators for Hydrogen, responsible for coordinating hydrogen infrastructure, cross-border initiatives, and interconnector network development.

At the heart of the discussions is the choice between establishing a new, independent hydrogen entity and restructuring the existing network of natural gas transmission operators to include hydrogen networks. The latter proposal, favored by the European Parliament, merges the markets for hydrogen and natural gas within the framework of existing gas operators.

The outcome of these deliberations carries significant implications for the future of the hydrogen sector in the EU. The creation of a dedicated hydrogen entity aims to ensure focused attention on hydrogen-specific challenges. Meanwhile, the compromise proposal envisions a phased approach, allowing common operational procedures initially and progressively moving towards the independence of the hydrogen entity.

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