Germany eyes 1,800 km hydrogen pipeline

Germany intends to build a 1,800-kilometer (1,118 miles) hydrogen energy pipeline network by 2027 with state assistance.

In addition, during a phase of transition to green hydrogen, the report envisions Germany promoting the use of blue hydrogen and importing it.

The biggest economy in Europe wants to diversify its energy sources and shift toward cleaner ones, especially after the invasion of Ukraine highlighted the dangers of being overly dependent on Russian natural gas.

The development of a system that was both functional and economical required the establishment of a hydrogen network corporation with state involvement, the report claimed. The government will soon announce its plans for the business.

The government plans to double Germany’s electrolysis capacity to ten gigawatts by 2030.

Germany intends to encourage a rise in the use of hydrogen, according to Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in order to diversify its energy sources and achieve its climate goals.

Natural gas is converted into blue hydrogen, which stores CO2 emissions underground or beneath the sea. It is viewed as a temporary solution while green hydrogen, which is extracted using renewable energy, is unable to completely supply demand. It is opposed by certain conservationists.

TSO Gassco in the loop

A pipeline from Norway’s TSO Gassco that would carry up to 4 million tonnes of hydrogen annually and be ready in 2030 is being considered for Germany.

Depending on the quality of the hydrogen, the pipeline might transport enough hydrogen to power 18 GW of installed capacity, according to Gassco project manager Odd Even Jakobsen.

According to estimations by energy giant Equinor and consultants Greenstat, that would require 130-160 TWh of power to make blue hydrogen using natural gas or roughly 230 TWh for green hydrogen using an electrolyzer with a capacity of 26.5 GW in continuous operation.

The springtime completion of Gassco’s feasibility study, which began earlier this year in partnership with Norwegian and German players.

Instead of constructing the pipeline themselves, the system operator will determine if the project is technically and commercially feasible.

Thirteen businesses will examine whether new pipes should be constructed or if the existing North Sea pipelines may be used and reused as part of the study’s transportation component.

Blue hydrogen

This kind of industrial operation required large-scale blue hydrogen production, according to Jakobsen.

By 2030, the EU wants to import an equivalent quantity of renewable green hydrogen and manufacture 10 million tonnes of it.

By 2030, according to an earlier estimate by Gassco, Norwegian hydrogen production may provide a capacity equivalent to 2-3 GW, or around 0.5 million tonnes of hydrogen, or about 5% of the EU’s import requirements.