Germany’s efforts to reduce its dependence on natural gas have led to plans to transport green hydrogen from Turkey via pipelines to the country.
Patrick Graichen, the undersecretary of the German Ministry of Economy and Climate Protection, has revealed that Germany aims to use Turkey’s abundant solar and wind energy potential to produce green hydrogen, which will be transported to Germany through pipelines. He explained that the reduction in renewable energy installation costs has led to a positive impact on green hydrogen production, making it a viable alternative to fossil fuels.
The European Hydrogen Backbone Initiative aims to map hydrogen pipelines to reduce Europe’s dependence on natural gas and promote the adoption of clean energy sources. Germany is working to include Turkey on the map, along with Italy and Libya. If a hydrogen pipeline is constructed, it will run from Turkey to the south of Germany via Austria.
Graichen noted that discussions around hydrogen will continue until 2030, and a real market will not emerge until after that time. Nonetheless, Germany has set numerous targets to fight climate change, including the cessation of fossil fuel usage in Germany by 2035, and is thus researching alternative energy sources.
Germany is also holding talks with various sector representatives in Turkey to develop a hydrogen market in the country. However, large-scale transportation of hydrogen would require bigger tanks and pipelines, making it a long-term project.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, which began on Feb. 24, 2022, has created supply-side uncertainties for natural gas and oil, leading to energy market imbalances. As a response, there has been an acceleration in the return to coal and nuclear energy, which had previously been approached with caution due to climate change goals and plans to phase out their usage. Renewable energy projects and investments have also increased during this period, along with policies for investment in and development of hydrogen technologies.
Germany’s plans to transport green hydrogen from Turkey have the potential to significantly reduce the country’s dependence on natural gas and fossil fuels. However, the project will require long-term investment and planning to build the necessary infrastructure.
Germany Plans to Build Main Hydrogen Pipeline Network
Germany is set to present plans for the construction of a main pipeline network for hydrogen before the summer holidays. The announcement was made by Economics Minister Robert Habeck during a visit to the coastal power plant in Kiel last Saturday. The project aims to transport hydrogen from where it is produced to where it is needed, including industrial and domestic consumers.
While the plans for the network are being finalized, one of the main issues that need to be addressed is who will pay for its construction. The grid operators will have to build the pipelines in advance of hydrogen being produced, which is not expected to happen on a large scale for another five to six years. Habeck believes that with a good market model, the network operators will be able to bear the costs, but if not, they will need to be supported.
The construction of the hydrogen pipeline network will complement Germany’s energy transition, which involves shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The use of hydrogen as an energy carrier is seen as a crucial part of this transition, as it can be produced using renewable energy sources and has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to the pipeline network, the German government is also considering the construction of hydrogen power plants and hydrogen-capable power plants to cover electricity volumes that are not generated by wind and solar power. The government is still deciding on the quantities to be put out to tender and the additional remuneration. The auction for this is planned for the end of the year.
Furthermore, the concept of “using instead of switching off” must be implemented quickly, according to Habeck. This concept involves using excess electricity that cannot be transported in the grid to generate heat for district heating, rather than switching off wind turbines.
The development of a hydrogen pipeline network in Germany has the potential to revolutionize the country’s energy sector and significantly contribute to its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2045. The construction of this network will require significant investment and coordination between the government and grid operators.