The green hydrogen revolution is gaining momentum in Europe, and law firm Fieldfisher is at the forefront of providing crucial insights for navigating this transformative industry.
Fieldfisher recently launched a comprehensive guide titled “Shaping Europe’s Hydrogen Economy,” which serves as a roadmap for understanding the regulatory and commercial landscape surrounding green hydrogen production and distribution in eight European countries. The report delves into essential considerations, emerging trends, and the challenges facing this burgeoning sector.
Co-authored by hydrogen experts from Fieldfisher’s flagship Energy and Natural Resources Group, this guide is a result of the firm’s extensive involvement in advising clients on green hydrogen projects and transactions in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK. It is a testament to Fieldfisher’s dedication to staying ahead of the curve in the evolving regulatory environment of the green hydrogen industry.
The report touches on several key themes and insights, including:
- Accessing Subsidies and Grants
Securing funding and government grants for green hydrogen projects is a formidable challenge. The report highlights the classic “chicken and egg” dilemma: the need for initial growth funding versus the necessity for hydrogen business models to reach sufficient maturity and scale. This financial hurdle poses a unique challenge for market players.
- Evolving Hydrogen Regulations
Many European jurisdictions are in the process of developing their hydrogen regulations to align with government policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The report points out that, in several aspects, existing gas regulations still cover hydrogen production and transportation, underscoring the need for updated and tailored regulations.
- Infrastructure Upgrades
For green hydrogen to become a significant component of future grid-scale energy supply, substantial national and cross-border infrastructural upgrades are essential. These upgrades are critical to accommodate the storage, transportation, and distribution of hydrogen effectively.
- Developing Commercial Agreements
Hydrogen purchase agreements and related commercial documents are in the early stages of development. As the green hydrogen market grows, the identification of key commercial and legal issues specific to this sector is ongoing. The report offers insights into these evolving agreements.
Fieldfisher’s report encapsulates the critical role that green hydrogen is set to play in Europe’s transition to clean energy. The report also emphasizes the firm’s commitment to sharing its extensive experience in this emerging field. Daniel Marhewka, Co-Head of Energy and Natural Resources at Fieldfisher, underlines the growing demand for green hydrogen expertise.
Marhewka states, “Green hydrogen is touted as the fuel of the future, and we are pleased to share our experience of working with clients on hydrogen projects in this report.”
David Haverbeke, Energy and Infrastructure Partner and Head of EU Regulatory at Fieldfisher, echoes the sentiment of an exciting era for green hydrogen. The European Union’s dedication to developing Europe’s hydrogen economy is evident, with legally binding rules defining green hydrogen and derivative fuels set to take effect in the summer of 2023.
Haverbeke notes, “The EU Member States are in the process of implementing the EU’s vision for green hydrogen, and market participants are navigating the need to adapt to these rules while responding to technical and commercial pressures.”
Fieldfisher’s expertise in renewable energy and sustainability positions them as a leader in guiding clients through the complexities of this rapidly evolving sector. Their dedicated team of legal advisors is committed to providing commercial insights to help clients confidently navigate the green hydrogen landscape.
As Europe charts a course toward a more sustainable energy future, Fieldfisher’s comprehensive guide provides an invaluable resource for those venturing into the dynamic world of green hydrogen.