ACM approves a pilot project to distribute hydrogen to homes
ACM finds it important that consumers and businesses can gain experience with the use of hydrogen.
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has given the green light to a pilot project involving distribution system operator (DSO) Liander in the Berkeloord district of the eastern Dutch town of Lochem.
In this pilot project, part of the existing gas network will be used to supply hydrogen gas to approximately 10 homes. These homes will be equipped with hydrogen boilers for the residents’ hot water and central heating needs. This will be the first pilot project in the Netherlands, where hydrogen will be distributed using existing natural-gas pipes up to the home’s central-heating boilers.
There are currently no laws regarding the use of hydrogen in built-up areas. ACM has therefore drawn up a Temporary framework regarding hydrogen pilots. This temporary framework offers DSOs and suppliers already the opportunity to gain experience with hydrogen in advance of new legislation. This framework stipulates how consumer interests are safeguarded.
Households can decide whether or not to participate in a pilot project, and consumers should not experience any difference between heating their homes using hydrogen or natural gas. In addition, it must be ensured at all times that sufficient hydrogen can be supplied, and it must be clear what the costs are for consumers.
Based on this temporary framework, ACM has granted Liander a temporary exemption for the pilot project in Lochem. In this pilot project, households will pay the same amounts for their hydrogen as they did for their natural gas. In addition, if the hydrogen supply can no longer be guaranteed, the system operator must return everything to the pre-pilot situation free of charge.
To guarantee safety in the pilot project in the town of Lochem, the Dutch State Supervision of Mines (SodM) will conduct oversight over safety matters in the distribution of hydrogen to residences. The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) has laid down the safety requirements for these kinds of projects in guidelines External Link(in Dutch).
Manon Leijten, Member of the Board of ACM, said, “ACM is open to more pilot projects involving hydrogen. We therefore invite DSOs to submit their plans to us.”