Consultation on permitting small scale hydrogen production by electrolysis of water

Closed 3 Oct 2022

Opened 6 Sep 2022


We are changing the way we permit small scale Hydrogen production by electrolysis of water.


The current legislation requires anyone producing Hydrogen to obtain an environmental permit, regardless of the process or the amount of Hydrogen produced. This means that small Hydrogen producers that have little or no environmental impact must go through the same permitting process as large polluting installations. Recognising the growing interest in Green Hydrogen production in Wales, and the positive contribution it can make to achieving the Net Zero ambition we are looking at ways to ensure there is a proportionate and efficient mechanism to permit certain types of small-scale H production that are extremely low risk. We are proposing an online application system that is limited to 2 types of small-scale Hydrogen Production.

  • Polymer electrolyte membrane/Proton exchange membrane
  • Alkaline electrolysers

Applicants must complete an online questionnaire and provide some basic information. This will generate a permit with standard conditions specific to that application. As the questions are designed to rule out any higher risk applications these permits will only be obtained if the following conditions are met

  • No fossil fuel is used on site as part of the Hydrogen production.
  • Water will be obtained from mains supply or through abstraction of surface water at less than 20 m3 per day or using an existing permission.
  • Any wastewater will be discharged to sewer, soakaway or taken away by tanker.
  • At any given time, less than one tonne of hydrogen will be stored on-site.
  • There will be no emissions to air other than Oxygen or Hydrogen.

We are satisfied that by meeting the conditions above the risks of pollution occurring are extremely low. The operator will need to comply with all permit conditions. The public will be consulted on the final permit but not on each application, this is a change to current practice.


As this type of application requires less assessment than the current process the charges are reduced. There remains some administration to carry out and each permit will require a public consultation, in order to recover our costs a charge of £788 will apply.  The subsistence fee will be £920 per year.

Why your views matter

We have prepared a risk assessment and draft permit which you can view on our online public register. We are consulting to ensure we have addressed any concerns the public may have with the change to the permitting process.


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