31 May 2024, 12:50
Carolina Kyllmann

Germany, Italy, Austria push for cross-border hydrogen import corridor

Clean Energy Wire

Germany has signed a declaration of intent with Italy and Austria to develop a green hydrogen import corridor in a bid to improve future energy security, the economy ministry (BMWK) announced. The Southern Hydrogen Corridor is especially relevant for the country's southern states, which host large parts of Germany's industry, and is an important step towards sustainable energy cooperation, the ministry wrote in a press release. The 3,300 km hydrogen pipeline, a project that has been talked about for a while, would provide "demand hubs" in the three countries with green hydrogen from Northern Africa and be operational by 2030.

"The development of a cross-border European hydrogen market is a guarantee for accelerating the energy transition and, in particular, decarbonising sectors with CO2 emissions that are difficult to reduce," economy minister Robert Habeck said. He added that a fully interconnected European hydrogen network would make an important contribution to Germany's energy security.

This is one of five large-scale pipeline hydrogen import corridors currently planned in Europe. Green hydrogen is set to play a crucial role in the decarbonisation of many hard-to-abate sectors, such as steelmaking and the chemical industry. But it is unlikely that Germany or Europe as a whole will be able to meet the entire projected demand with local production. Importing from world regions with better potential for renewable electricity production, such as Africa, Australia or South America, is therefore going to be key for a reliable supply.

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