Regulatory framework of green hydrogen in Spain

In the framework of the incipient decarbonisation of the planet, among others promoted by the European Union, green hydrogen stands out as a favourite to substitute fossil fuels and natural gas.

Regulatory framework of green hydrogen

The existing regulatory framework regarding the development and production of green hydrogen is still limited and under continuous development in Spain. Henceforth, the application of other already existing regulations prevails. However, the influence of some European directives hints that a specific regulatory framework will be available very soon (link) .

Hydrogen production is considered an industrial activity classified within the chemical industry to produce inorganic gas. Therefore, the currently applicable environmental and industrial regulation does not consider the existence of a link between the production of hydrogen and the generation or storage of energy.

Permits for green hydrogen production

Based on its classification within the chemical industry, the following are the main permits for its production:

  • Access and connection permits
  • Environment: permission from the following authorities of the corresponding autonomous region:
    • AAI (1)
    • Declaration of Environmental Impact (DIA) granted by the Regional Government (if applicable)
    • Accreditation of compliance with the regulation on control of inherent risks of serious accidents involving chemical substances
  • Financial warranty: regarding any possible environmental responsibility (3)
  • Urban planning: permits for the preliminary analysis of the land and posterior the same permits as for photovoltaic plants
  • Additionally, the land needs to be considered compatible with industrial activity by the General Plan of Urban Management (competence of local authorities).
  • Administrative authorisations with the Ministry of Industry for production, storage, and distribution (except for the self-consumption regime (5).

The initiatives of the European funds and the strategy for the decarbonisation set by the European Union favour the development of green hydrogen projects in Spain. It is, thus, destined to become an authentic substitute for fossil fuels.

Isabel Prat

(1) Directive 2018/2001, of the 11th of December 2018, on the promotion of the energy use from renewable energy sources
(2) Directive 2010/75/UE of the European Parliament and Council, of the 24th of November 2010, about the industrial emissions and Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2016, of the 16th of December, approving the revised text about the Law on integrated pollution prevention and control.
(3) Real Decreto 840/2015, of the 21st of September, approving preventative measures for major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances
(4) Law 26/2007, of the 23rd of October, on Environmental Responsibility.
(5) Real Decreto 656/2017, of the 23rd of June, approving the Regulations on Storage of Chemical Products and its Additional Technical Instructions MIE APQ 0 and 10 applicable to the storage, loading, unloading, and decanting of hydrogen starting at 0 (zero) Nm3 and the Law 40/2010, of the 29th of December, regarding the geological storage of carbon dioxide.

If you require additional information concerning the regulatory framework of green hydrogen in Spain,

Please note that this article is not intended to provide legal advice.

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