Legal framework: permissions and restrictions (and Ownership constraints (unbundling))

This LAP concerns the injection of hydrogen into the gas grid at the TSO level and the legal framework status covering authorised bodies and varying hydrogen concentration levels in the TSO transmission system along with potential changes to the regulatory framework to support enhanced hydrogen injection and utilisation


The existing national legal framework for the DSO to carry out hydrogen activities, which is normally restricted to natural gas. Ownership constraints refer to the constraints related to ownership associated with the process of injecting.
Is it a barrier?
Type of Barrier
Economic barriers, Regulatory gap
Assessment Severity


Question 1 Which is the responsible authority/legal entity for the permission of the connection/injection of hydrogen in the gas grid?
The respective gas network operator.
Question 2 What is permitted or restricted according to national legislation under your responsibility as DSO regarding the transmission of pure hydrogen and mixtures of hydrogen and natural gas.
German national legislation does not limit the hydrogen concentration in the natural gas network in Germany. All grid users are required to ensure the gas which they feed in is compatible with the grid. The technical requirements for that are always based on the latest version of the German Gas and Water Supply Association(DVGW) Worksheets (DVGW G 260 and G 262) The DVGW addresses technical questions around the gas infrastructure and acts as regulatory body for regulations to ensure the safety of the gas network. The standardisation work of the DVGW is an industry driven initiative (self–regulation). According the actual DVGW Worksheets G 260 (Gas quality) and G 262 (Use of gas from renewable resources in public gas supply) the injection of hydrogen in the public grid is allowed as long as the concentration remains below 10 Vol.–%. There is no limit for concentration of synthetic methane.
Question 3a - Is there a maximum concentration defined that you are allowed to transport as a DSO? (e.g. are you allowed to transport 100% hydrogen)
a - For hydrogen – below 10 Vol.–%. For synthetic methane – 100%.
Question 3b - In case the maximum hydrogen concentration in your transmission grid (system) is less than 100%, is it allowed to inject pure hydrogen- 100%? into gas grid on transmission level (up to the allowed concentration)?
b - It is possible to inject pure hydrogen directly into the gas grid, because a homogenous mixture can be achieved in a short distance (mixture in free–jet). However, the mixing of the hydrogen with the natural gas without a static mixer is significantly dependent on the flow speed of the basic gas stream and on the speed of the incoming hydrogen jet. In order not to exceed concentration limits, premixing units may be required. In general, the hydrogen is classified as an additive gas and as such can be fed in so far as sufficient mixing with natural gas is ensured.
Question 3c - If no, who is responsible for the blending with natural gas? Is there an obligation for the TSO to provide the necessary natural gas for blending the hydrogen (with several EU Directives transposed into national legislations the functions of gas grid operator and natural gas supplier are separated)
c - The network operator is responsible for the odorisation and measurement of gas composition (§36(4) Gas Network Access Ordinance. The German legislation does not impose a legal obligation for the network operators to provide the necessary quantities of natural gas for blending hydrogen. There is a certain legal uncertainty about who bears the risk that natural gas in the grid is sufficient to feed H2.)
Question 4 If the concentration for injection is different than the maximum allowed concentration (question 2 and 3) question please answer this question What is the maximum allowed concentration in your country for injection in the gas grid on transmission level?
There is no difference.
Question 5 Are there specific requirements for increasing or decreasing the admissible threshold of hydrogen concentration (upstream and downstream networks, infrastructure elements and appliances with lower tolerance)? If yes: please describe.
The technical standards acknowledge infrastructure elements and appliances with lower tolerances such as porous rock, underground storages, gas turbines, vehicle CNG cylinders type 1. The applicable threshold may therefore drop down to 2 Vol.–% or even 1 Vol.–% hydrogen admixture. The gas network operator sets the hydrogen limit for injection depending on the actual existing downstream applications on a case–by–case basis. The UNECE Regulation 110 (Compressed and liquefied natural gas components) and the DIN 51624 establish a threshold of up to 2 Vol.–% hydrogen for the vehicle fuel CNG (compressed natural gas). If an CNG fueling station is connected to the respective part of the gas grid, the admissible hydrogen concentration must not exceed 2 Vol.–%. In the event that no calibrated hydrogen content measuring system (process gas chromatograph) is installed, the hydrogen content must not exceed 0.2 Vol.–% (see the Technical Guideline of the Physical–Technical Federal Institute G 14 Gas meters).
Question 6 Are there specific restrictions/permissions for the transport of hydrogen other than “concentration” and “quality”, if yes which ones?
Question 7 If it can be guaranteed that the gas is on the required quality specification (on spec) at the next customer, is it allowed to feed in off-spec gas (read: a higher concentration of Hydrogen)?
Question 8 Which part of the connection facility (the injection installation is part of the connection facility) is owned by or under the responsibility of the DSO?
The connection facility is owned by the network operator.
Question 9 As TSO, do you see legal and administrative restrictions with regard to the ownership of your part of the connection facility (the injection installation is part of the connection facility) of hydrogen into the grid?
Question 10 Is there a difference in legal and administrative restrictions between connections for hydrogen injection into TSO and DSO-networks? If so could you please specify the differences?
Question 12 Is it foreseen to review the current regulation to consider hydrogen injection into natural gas network and if yes on which term?
There are many studies and pilot projects for injection of higher concentration of hydrogen > 30–50 Vol.–% into the grid, but there is no initiative to change the DVGW Worksheets G 260 and G 262.
Describe the comparable technology and its relevance with regard to hydrogen

National legislation:

EU Legislation:

  • Directive 2009/73/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas
    Directive 2009/73/EC establishes common rules for the transmission, distribution, supply and storage of natural gas.

    Its provisions and obligations apply to Hydrogen Gas by virtue of Article 1 (2), which states that the rules established by this Directive for natural gas, including LNG, shall also apply in a non–discriminatory way to biogas and gas from biomass or other types of gas in so far as such gases can technically and safely be injected into, and transported through, the natural gas system.

    Article 25 establishes the “Tasks of the distribution system operator” which include: ensuring the long-term ability of the system to meet reasonable demands for the distribution of gas […];shall provide any other distribution, transmission, LNG, and/or storage system operator with sufficient information […] as well as to ensure that the system operator does not discriminate between system users or classes of system including, including e.g. when setting rules for the charging of system users, etc

    Article 32 sets the rules on “Third party access”: access to the transmission and distribution system, and LNG facilities shall be based on published tariffs, applicable to all eligible customers, including supply undertakings, and applied objectively and without discrimination between system users.
  • Regulation 715/2009 on conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks
    Regulation 715/2009 sets non-discriminatory rules for access conditions to (a) natural gas transmission systems; (b) LNG facilities and storage facilities taking into account the special characteristics of national and regional markets

    To achieve this, it sets harmonised principles for tariffs, or the methodologies underlying their calculation, for access to the network, but not to storage facilities, the establishment of third-party access services and harmonised principles for capacity-allocation and congestion-management, the determination of transparency requirements, balancing rules and imbalance charges, and the facilitation of capacity trading.
  • Regulation (EC) No 713/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing an Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators
    Article 1 Project matter and scope
    This regulation aims at:
    (a) setting non–discriminatory rules for access conditions to natural gas transmission systems taking into account the special characteristics of national and regional markets with a view to ensuring the proper functioning of the internal market in gas;

    Article 8 “Tasks as regards terms and conditions for access to and operational security of cross border infrastructure
  • Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/703 of 30 April 2015 establishing a network code on interoperability and data exchange rules
    The network code on interoperability aligns the complex technical procedures used by network operators within the EU, and possibly with network operators in the Energy Community and other countries neighbouring the EU.Article 7, Measurement principles for gas quantity and quality. In addition to interconnection points, Article 17 shall apply to other points on transmission network where the gas quality is measured. Article 18 shall apply to transmission systems. This Regulation may also apply at entry points from and exit points to third countries, subject to the decision of the national authorities.