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These grids will need to be able to carry low-carbon gases such as hydrogen and biomethane as part of the EU's effects to climate neutral by 2050, EU energy regulatory agency ACER said as it published the survey results on July 10.
The survey found that grid rules on accepting low-carbon gases vary widely across the EU, and that most work to increase acceptance is at an early stage, driven mainly by pilot projects.
"Most national regulators would support an EU-wide approach for setting hydrogen admixing limits, in pursuit of cross-border gas trading and market integration," ACER said.
Germany allows up to 10% of hydrogen in its gas grids, the highest reported level in the survey.
National regulators recommended that hydrogen blending limits should be at least 2% by volume, ACER said.
Some grids would also need physical changes to accept hydrogen, including to meters, compressor stations and some types of storage.
ACER said the survey showed that "selected investments" would be needed gradually to increase the EU gas grid's ability to accept low-carbon gases.
"These types of new investments deserve greater attention in gas network development plans in order to properly identify investment needs and projects," ACER said.
The European Commission published an EU hydrogen strategy on July 8, setting out plans to develop mainly renewable hydrogen made from electrolyzing renewable electricity.
It plans to propose changes next year to the EU's gas legislation to include rules for low-carbon gases.