European gas grid operators agree to build North Sea hydrogen network – media report
Nine European gas transmission grid operators have agreed to construct a pipeline network in the North Sea to transport hydrogen made in offshore wind farms, business daily Handelsblatt reports. In a declaration addressed to littoral states, which will meet next week in Belgium for the North Sea Summit, the operators call for an appropriate legal and regulatory framework, the acceleration of licensing procedures and the clarification of financing, according to the newspaper, which has seen the declaration. The operators said they will convert existing gas pipelines for hydrogen and also build new pipelines.
The signatories of the declaration include the companies Open Grid Europe and Wintershall Dea subsidiary Gascade. Gascade managing director Christoph von dem Bussche told Handelsblatt that "integrated, transnational grid planning for the future use of offshore wind energy for electricity and hydrogen production" is needed in a timely manner. "The benefits are obvious: ensuring future security of supply and diversifying Europe's energy supply."
Last year, the North Sea countries agreed on ambitious targets for the expansion of wind power and the development of the associated infrastructure. According to EU plans, wind turbines with a capacity of 150 gigawatts (GW) are to be installed in the North Sea by 2050, part of which is to be used to produce hydrogen at sea, said Handelsblatt.