Streamline permitting for hydrogen projects

Overview of the status and impact of the innovation



For new projects, obtaining permits and other approvals is often a lengthy and challenging process. This can cause significant delays in projects, drive up costs and discourage other applicants. Moreover, electrolyser or hydrogen infrastructure projects will typically need safety insurance, which may require additional permitting.

In this context, increasing co-ordination among all permit-related departments in relevant authorities or setting up a “one-stop permitting shop” can effectively facilitate and streamline the permitting process. The one-stop shop would group all necessary services and authorities at a single location and offer a streamlined application with a limited number of documents, possibly allowing online submissions.


Streamlining permitting would make it possible to build electrolysers and other hydrogen infrastructure faster and at lower costs, while reducing uncertainties, easing project management and improving communications with local authorities. This in turn can help accelerate the development of the green hydrogen economy.

BOX 9.13 One-stop permitting shops and green channel for hydrogen projects approval

So-called one-stop permitting shops have already been used in several projects, for example, offshore wind parks in South Korea. Those examples show the following steps to be useful in setting up one-stop shops:

  1. Collect input by consulting both permitting authorities and stakeholders.
  2. Review existing procedures.
  3. Facilitate participation and discussion to increase transparency and awareness.
  4. Identify bottlenecks and priorities to reorganise the permitting infrastructure.
  5. Define an implementation plan including training for local authorities.

In China, places like Shanghai, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia have all introduced hydrogen energy policies which open a “green channel” for the approval of hydrogen energy projects. For example, the Medium and Long Term Plan for the Development of Hydrogen Energy Industry in Shanghai (2022-35) proposes efforts to clarify the planning, initiation and approval of hydrogen energy industry projects; establish a “green channel” for the approval of hydrogen energy preparation, testing services, hydrogenation infrastructure and other construction projects; and establish a “one-stop” administrative approval management system.

Source: (NDRC, 2022; Shanghai Municipal Development & Reform Commission, 2022).