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ACM offers network companies clarity concerning alternative energy carriers

In the future, hydrogen and other alternative energy carriers such as biogas, heat, and cold, will play a more important role in the supply of energy. Collaborations between market participants and network companies can be important to the further development of the markets for such alternative energy carriers. That is why it is important for network companies and other market participants to know what activities involving alternative energy carriers network companies can and cannot do. In order to provide that clarity, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) today published guidelines regarding the opportunities that network companies have with regard to alternative energy carriers. These guidelines explain the statutory framework based on the rules that are currently in effect.

Network companies are allowed to create and operate transmission networks for alternative energy carriers. However, they cannot generate, trade, or supply alternative energy carriers. Yet, network companies are allowed to be involved in the generation, trade, or supply of alternative energy carriers through minority stakes or joint ventures. For example, network companies are able to contribute to the development of alternative-energy-carrier markets, which are often still in their infancy, through public-private partnerships.

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) is currently working on a bill for a new Energy Act, which will replace the Dutch Electricity Act and the Dutch Gas Act. As a result thereof, the rules regarding alternative energy carriers that network companies must comply with at the moment, may change.

ACM will soon publish the responses to the consultation of the draft guidelines, as well as ACM’s response thereto. In that way, ACM wishes to explain what it has done with the responses to the consultation. All of these responses will be published together with the guidelines.

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