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Reform Support

Supporting reforms to transition to a green economy and fight climate change

Energy transition safety and improved knowledge for hydrogen risk regulation 

The Commission aims to address the existing gaps in knowledge related to the hazards and risks of hydrogen, as well as how the precautionary principle could be best applied for the energy transition in the Netherlands. 

Context 

The fight against climate change requires the development and rollout of new or enhanced technologies for energy production, storage, transport, and energy consumption. 

In this endeavour, governments need to pay attention to the broad regulatory framework, in terms of safety, environmental protection (beyond the climate change aspect) and zoning. 

In general, there is a need to better understand how to balance precaution with the appropriate consideration to be given to climate change risks. There is also, to take a salient example, insufficient and/or unequal and fragmented knowledge on risks associated with hydrogen as an energy carrier.

Support delivered 

The Commission mobilised OECD to develop coherent risk-based guidelines for ensuring adequate application of the precautionary principle in the energy transition. These guidelines will provide the basis for a risk-based regulatory framework to facilitate the further use of hydrogen as an energy carrier, given its high decarbonisation potential especially in sectors such as transportation and industry. 

The support includes: 

  • A review of regulation and international practice on hydrogen risk management
  • Guidance notes on how to combine the necessary energy transition with the implementation of the precautionary principle in the Netherlands. 

Results achieved 

The project will deliver improved and transparent conditions for investment and innovation in low carbon technologies and especially hydrogen through/by means of: 

  • Improved knowledge of hydrogen safety risks; 
  • Improved precaution guidelines for the implementation of the Dutch policy principle on precaution within the energy transition
  • Risk-management recommendations for further regulatory development

This Project will facilitate investments and innovation in low-carbon technologies supporting the energy transition, contributing towards the European Commission’s priorities for 2019-2024 including the European Green Deal and the EU Hydrogen Strategy.