Going forward: An European Hydrogen Strategy
The expansion of the gas infrastructure, shown here in 2012 during the expansion of the Sannerz-Rimpar gas pipeline (operator: Open Grid Europe) could theoretically be a measure to absorb green gases and minimise the expansion of the extra-high voltage lines in the electricity sector. However, in my opinion gas networks are not the best starting point for a European hydrogen strategy to defossilise economy/society.

Development of an Essential Facility for the Decarbonisation of the Fossil Sector

The concept "Essential Facility", borrowed from American competition law, describes the monopoly character of an infrastructure. Since the monopoly has usually grown naturally and its replication by other market participants is not possible under economic standards, access to the services of the infrastructure is 'essential' for effective competition. From this follows the need for comprehensive regulation of the operator. If the task is entrusted to a state operator, it can be assumed that the latter has no interest whatsoever in access to this infrastructure.


However, the use of the term "essential facility" also involves a not unintentional misuse of the adjective. Sustainable solutions require decisive strategies. The hydrogen infrastructure, if the strategy does not remain just a vision, will play an essential role in decarbonisation.