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DNV GL leads hydrogen readiness study for Italian gas network

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Società Gasdotti Italia (SGI) commissioned DNV GL to determine the feasibility of progressively moving Italy’s second largest gas network from natural gas to renewable gases, including hydrogen.

The study would help SGI’s goal to completely decarbonize the supply of energy to Italian homes and businesses through its gas network.

DNV GL experts in Groningen, Norway and Milan will explore the feasibility of hydrogen transport options through 1,800 kilometers of SGI’s regional and national high-pressure network. The study will direct SGI in determining acceptable parts of its gas network for the safe transport of blended natural gas and hydrogen mixtures. The goal of the gas network operator is to understand whether and how 100 percent of hydrogen can be transported safely through the network.

The SGI study is ideally consistent with the Italian Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC, published in 2019), which envisages the injection of hydrogen into the network to help improve the sustainability of existing networks and to leverage the natural gas infrastructure.

In addition, the strategy sees renewables playing an important role on the country’s decarbonization path in achieving the 30 percent mark by 2030. Hydrogen will play a key role in deeply decarbonizing the European gas sector and adding to the European Union ‘s net zero-carbon emission targets for 2050.

DNV GL’s 2020 Energy Transition Outlook predicts a major rise in the market for hydrogen in Europe over the next three decades. About half of the end-use market for gas in Europe in 2050 will come from almost no demand today.

Scaling hydrogen as an energy carrier will bring substantial benefits to countries with extensive natural gas distribution networks and decarbonization ambitions. Switching gas networks from natural gas to hydrogen will make it possible for energy suppliers to continue to use the system and avoid the expense of having to install electrical replacements.

“Hydrogen is becoming an increasingly important lever in the oil and gas industry’s decarbonization efforts. Through executing projects like this, we are demonstrating how the natural gas infrastructure in the UK, the Netherlands and now Italy can be repurposed to safely and effectively transport hydrogen.

“We are delighted to secure this project with SGI and support them on navigating the risks and opportunities of the energy transition, ultimately accelerating bringing decarbonized gas to their customer’s homes and businesses.”

Liv A. Hovem, CEO, DNV GL – oil & gas. 

“SGI is convinced that hydrogen will play a key role in delivering the European decarbonization goals. However, the opportunity offered by a well-established gas transmission system to decarbonize hard to abate sectors, must be demonstrated. We see growing biomethane volumes in our network and will soon start injecting synthetic renewable gas. These initiatives will prove the role that renewable gases and the whole gas system can play in a new, sustainable energy value chain.

“The study with DNV GL will help to consolidate SGI’s ongoing work to ship hydrogen through the Italian gas transmission system and thus contribute to the achievement of the goals set by Italy’s Energy & Climate Plan.”

Federico Frassi, SGI CEO. 
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