UK's NSTA appointed regulator for offshore hydrogen transport and storage
The UK’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) is set to assume the role of offshore hydrogen transport and storage regulator, it said September 6, noting the move would pave the way for projects to go ahead.
“The move is intended to support the industry by enabling pioneering projects to obtain the necessary licences and consents and move quickly into operation,” the NSTA said.
In this role, the NSTA will serve as the licensing and consulting authority for offshore hydrogen pipelines, employing similar arrangements as those currently used for oil and gas pipelines. It will take on the same role for offshore hydrogen storage, enabling it to issue hydrogen storage licences.
In addition, NSTA will be a consultee to the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment & Decommissioning (OPRED) when it comes to decommissioning and repurposing offshore hydrogen transport and storage infrastructure. In turn, OPRED will be the decommissioning and environmental regulator for the same sector.
The appointment of NSTA comes after the UK unveiled a national hydrogen strategy in 2021, which envisaged the production of 5 GW of low-carbon hydrogen by the end of the decade – a target that was doubled to 10 GW the following year.
“This decision highlights the importance of hydrogen in a net zero future and further cements the NSTA’s role in driving forward the energy transition. We fully appreciate the need for an integrated energy basin and firmly believe we are best placed to deliver it,” Hedvig Ljungerud, the NSTA’s director of strategy, said in a statement. “It is also vital for the development of the wider hydrogen economy, which the NSTA will support alongside our ongoing work in carbon storage and fossil fuels.”