H2MARE: Workshop on Legal Challenges for Offshore Platforms

Within the H₂Mare project, intensive work is being carried out on the development of offshore platforms for the production of hydrogen and other PtX (Power-to-X) products. Regulatory aspects play a crucial role in ensuring a regulated and safe construction and operation of these platforms. To discuss the mentioned legal framework, a workshop was recently conducted within the H2Mare project by our consultants Verena Hertzsch and Cäcilia Gätsch. This workshop gathered various needs concerning incentives for offshore hydrogen projects and the requirements for project approval.

The compliance with the legal requirements is crucial for the approval of the developed offshore platforms. Particularly, constructive and environmental law aspects must be considered in the design and operation. Unfortunately, there are currently legal uncertainties that hinder the technological development and market deployment. These uncertainties need to be identified and addressed to pave the way for a successful implementation of offshore hydrogen projects.

An interesting background for the development of these offshore platforms is the spatial development plan of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency in the North Sea. The "SEN-1" area for other energy extraction will be tendered, and in 2024, a bidding procedure will take place. Companies and consortia will then have the opportunity to apply for this area and realize Germany's first offshore hydrogen project.

The H₂Mare project "TransferWind" brings together renowned partners such as the Technical University of Berlin, DECHEMA, the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, the Helmholtz Center Hereon, and cruh21. Together, they address various topics, including regulatory matters, safety, environmental protection, standardization of components, as well as regulations for the construction and operation of PtX and hydrogen offshore platforms. Through the collaboration of these experts, comprehensive and sustainable development of these forward-looking technologies is being advanced.

The legal framework for offshore platforms for hydrogen and PtX production still faces uncertainties. However, through targeted workshops like the one conducted by cruh21 and close collaboration within the H₂Mare project, these challenges can be addressed. With a clear legal framework, developers can make the offshore platforms eligible for approval and thus make a significant contribution to the energy transition and decarbonization. We thank you for this exciting exchange.

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