Towards a hydrogen economy – Legislation


In the first of a series of features that discuss the feasibility of the hydrogen economy, we look to the challenge for legislators. Timothy Wilkins, is a partner in law firm Bracewell and Giuliani.

As head of his firms environmental arm, Wilkins says he is excited about, $quot;Promising, and unconventional technologies that are coming along.$quot; However regulators, producers and distributors all have much to do.

Hydrogen-based enterprises may find themselves up against a tide of regulation as, $quot;There are so many agencies and non-governmental standards agencies working on what is going to be appropriate and safe…it seems inevitable there will be a great deal of detail in terms of a regulatory scheme.$quot;

The move towards normalising hydrogen as a fuel source may only confuse the problem. He says, $quot;Obviously a lot of hydrogen production that goes on already for industrial applications, but when you take this product outside the industrial fence and you move it out onto street corners there is going to be a much greater focus on what is going to be adequately safe for the public.$quot; He says there is a great deal of existing and developing regulation but based on the work of hydrogen standards and codes organizations, there will be, $quot;a lot of additional requirements we should expect to see coming on line in the future.$quot;

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