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

This LAP concerns the permitting framework and processes (or restrictions) on hydrogen based SNG (via methanation) and injection at varying concentrations into the gas grid at the TSO or DSO level, along with technical requirements for and oversight of local grid connections


The existing national legal framework for the TSO/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
Assessment Severity


Question 1 Is the legislation with regard to injection of Methane (SNG) via methanation from hydrogen the same as for hydrogen? If yes, question 2-9 are the same as for category 7, application 1: injection of hydrogen in the gas grid and do not have to be answered
Our understanding of the question is that methane – generated by methanation from hydrogen – will be upgraded to the prevailing gross calorific value – so to 11,3 kWh/Nm3 by add on of LPG. Since pure methane has got a gross calorific value of 10 kWh/Nm3 the add–on has to be undertaken. If so, there is no difference in the legislative basis regarding injection of SNG.
Question 2 Which is the responsible authority/legal entity for the permission of the connection/injection of SNG from hydrogen in the gas grid?
The connection to the gas grid is dealt with in line with the lTrade, Commercial and Industry Regulation Act (so <= 150.000 tons per year) , where the county administration acts as an One Stop Shop. In other words, the county administration takes care of all other obligations in line with the relevant laws. Otherwise the Environmental impact assessment law UVP–G 2000 has to be followed. In case of an eased environmental impact assessment it is the Government of the Austrian Bundesländer which acts as a one stop shop; the results of the assessment are notified to the applicant in a concerted/concentrated decision. This decision summarizes the assessments of the relevant experts.
Question 3 What is permitted or restricted under your responsibility as TSO/DSO regarding the transport of SNG from hydrogen and mixtures of SNG from hydrogen and natural gas?
There are no restrictions regarding feed in of SNG as long as SNG is upgrade – in terms of gross calorific value and the out of it resulting Wobbe index – to natural gas qualities, thus match the specifications. In case of mixtures of hydrogen with SNG, there is an impact on the gross calorific value, hence this impacts have to be taken into consideration. Besides, there might be a need for a mixture device when feeding this mixture into the natural gas grid. Questions regarding billing (the customers pays for the consumed energy and not for the consumed volume) have to be solved
Question 4 Is there a maximum defined that you are allowed to transport as a TSO/DSO? (e.g. are you allowed to transport 100% SNG from hydrogen)?
There are no restrictions as long as the SNG is upgraded to the conditions of natural gas regarding gross calorific value.
Question 5 Are there specific restrictions/permissions for the transport of SNG from hydrogen other than “concentration” and “quality”, if yes which ones?
There are not restrictions except the gross calorific value of “upgraded” SNG – which has to match the specifications. Of course there is a need to deliver the upgraded SNG at the proper pressure, and at the announced time schedules and of course there is a need for transportation capacity.
Question 6 Which part of the connection facility (the injection installation is part of the connection facility) is owned by or under the responsibility of the TSO/DSO?
Since upgraded SNG has to be delivered at the required specifications, so at natural gas quality, it is relatively easy to feed into the gas grid system. So there is a need for a metering station which either can be provided by the producer of the upgraded SNG or by the TSO/DSO. In case the TSO/DSO is the owner of the metering station, the producer has to pay for the usage of the metering stations. The same goes for gas–phase chromatographs
Question 7 As TSO/DSO, do you see legal and administrative restrictions with regard to the ownership of your part of the connection facility (the injection installation is related to the connection facility) of SNG from hydrogen into the grid?
No – as long as the SNG has been upgraded to natural gas quality in terms of gross calorific value
Question 8 Is there a difference in legal and administrative restrictions between connections/injecting SNG from hydrogen into TSO and DSO-networks? If so could you please specify the differences?
No, as long as SNG matches the specifications of natural gas
Question 9 Are there specific national (add-on) restrictions for the connection/injection of SNG from hydrogen in TSO/DSO networks compared to the connection/injection of natural gas?
No, as long as SNG matches the specifications of natural gas

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.