Four major European energy companies – TenneT, Gasunie Deutschland, Thyssengas, and bayernets – have jointly released a study titled “Quo vadis Elektrolyse?” advocating for the integration of hydrogen power plants and a dedicated hydrogen pipeline transmission grid to ensure Germany’s energy future.
The study emphasizes the need to creatively merge the gas and electricity infrastructure, with a particular focus on harnessing renewable energy resources in northern Germany and utilizing the existing natural gas pipeline network for hydrogen transportation. By implementing these strategies, Germany aims to enhance energy security, support its industry, and maintain global competitiveness.
TenneT’s COO, Tim Meyerjürgens, emphasizes the importance of integrating the gas and electricity infrastructure in both northern and southern Germany. Electrolysis, the process of producing hydrogen from renewable energy sources, should be strategically located in regions with abundant renewable resources, primarily along the northern coast. The existing natural gas pipeline network should be repurposed to transport hydrogen, while also developing a new hydrogen infrastructure. Large-scale electrolyzer installations in the north can supply hydrogen to industries in the south during power lulls, ensuring a secure energy supply and competitiveness in global markets.
Dr. Matthias Jenn, CEO of bayernets, highlights the benefits of hydrogen as an ideal medium for transferring large amounts of energy from north to south and for long-term energy storage. The recent establishment of a hydrogen core network spanning at least 8,000 kilometers is a positive development, enabling efficient energy transfer across regions. This network will play a crucial role in balancing electricity flows, particularly during bottleneck periods, when additional power plants in the south can mitigate disruptions. Early construction of the hydrogen network in the southern region is essential to meet the energy demands and maintain stability.
Implementing hydrogen power plants and a dedicated hydrogen pipeline grid in Germany poses both challenges and opportunities. Repurposing the natural gas pipeline network for hydrogen transportation requires careful planning and infrastructure upgrades. Furthermore, scaling up electrolyzer installations and ensuring a steady supply of renewable energy are crucial for sustained hydrogen production. However, the integration of hydrogen technologies offers a solution to address power lulls, enhance energy security, and reduce carbon emissions, positioning Germany as a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future.
The study “Quo vadis Elektrolyse?” highlights the significance of hydrogen power plants and a dedicated hydrogen pipeline transmission grid in securing Germany’s energy future. By strategically integrating the gas and electricity infrastructure, leveraging renewable resources in the north, and repurposing the natural gas pipeline network, Germany aims to ensure a reliable energy supply, support its diverse industry, and enhance competitiveness in global markets. The adoption of hydrogen technologies presents opportunities to optimize energy transfer, storage, and address power lulls, contributing to a sustainable and decarbonized energy landscape.