German alliance takes aim at EU Commission plan to separate gas grid ownership
Clean Energy Wire
A broad alliance of industry and municipal associations is criticizing EU Commission plans to separate the ownership of the hydrogen and gas grid at the distribution network level. Such a move would hinder a rapid ramp-up of the hydrogen economy and is "a disservice to the success of the energy transition in the region and in the municipalities on the way to climate neutrality," the group argued in an appeal to the federal government. "The Commission's proposals completely ignore the fact that in Germany alone, more than 99 percent of industrial and commercial customers now obtain gas via the distribution networks,” the alliance that includes the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the German Association of Towns and Municipalities stressed. Around 1.8 million medium-sized companies with several million jobs should be enabled to source hydrogen through the same infrastructure as for gas, the alliance said. Otherwise it would become practically impossible for many regional and local actors to organize hydrogen distribution efficiently.
The EU Commission is already facing opposition to its plan from members of the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE), which advocates the possibility of jointly operating hydrogen and gas networks. “Splitting the networks into two companies creates unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles and prevents efficient network operation,” the alliance said.