Hydrogen fed into natural gas network in Borr and Niederberg


Gasversorgung Rhein-Erft (GVG) does not intend to test a fully new technology at Borr, Niederberg, or the Friesheim industrial park.

But, as GVG managing director Werner Abromeit put it, “it’s something exceptional.” He presented the “H 2 Mix future project” alongside officials from the Rheinische Netzgesellschaft and TÜV Rheinland. In the future, 20% hydrogen will be added to the natural gas that customers in small towns buy.

The locals were quite interested in the information session, and the hall in the Niederberg village community center was nearly full. Mayor Carolin Weitzel, city treasurer Dirk Knips, and the mayors of Niederberg and Borr, Markus Janser and Stephan Bulig, were among those in attendance. The proponents promoted hydrogen as a necessary component of the energy transition. After all, the pilot project is expected to save 22,000 tons of CO2 per year.

GVG has leased a block of land from the city at the Friesheim industrial park where the hydrogen is combined with the gas. According to the experts, the pipeline network in Niederberg and Borr is relatively new, and there are termination lines, or “dead ends,” which are ideal conditions for the experiment. When asked what type of information the crowd wished for, Abromeit said, “You only have to start first.” Experiments with up to 40% hydrogen have also been conducted; possibly one day, H 2 will totally replace natural gas as a fossil fuel.

Visitors have arrived at the Borrern and Niederbergern’s home. Every gas heater is tested to determine whether it will work with the new gas mixture. Each system is tested before the hydrogen is put in; project staff enter the residence with gas bottles, as it were.

There were no negative comments from the crowd. Rather, residents wanted to know if they would have to pay more and if they would have to take any more security measures in their houses. Both inquiries were answered with a resounding no. Hydrogen has a lesser calorific value than methane, however this is taken into account in the invoicing.

It is expected to begin in the spring of next year, with a one-and-a-half-year time frame. Abromeit was hopeful about the possibility of extending it. After all, by 2030, carbon dioxide emissions need be cut by 65 percent. Natural gas decarbonization is a critical step in this direction.

Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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