17 Mar 2022, 13:55
Sören Amelang

Germany mulls hydrogen pipeline from Norway in bid to lessen dependence on Russian gas imports

Clean Energy Wire / Spiegel

Germany and Norway will consider building a hydrogen pipeline between the two countries in a bid to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian fossil gas. Norway wants to actively contribute to the rapid development of the hydrogen market in Germany and the EU, the countries said in a joint statement following a meeting between German economy and climate minister Robert Habeck and Norwegian prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre. "To this end, it has been agreed that a joint review will be conducted with a view to make large-scale transport, including via pipeline, of hydrogen from Norway to Germany possible. We plan to rapidly commission a joint feasibility study on this." Before Norway can produce green hydrogen made with renewable power in sufficient quantities, the countries plan to use blue hydrogen made with natural gas using carbon capture and storage (CCS) "for a transitional period”.

"Over the coming months and years, it will be extremely important to speed up the development of alternative energy sources for Europe as substitutes for Russian gas and oil and to develop the necessary infrastructure for this," the statement says. The countries said they will also enhance their cooperation on offshore wind given the considerable wind resources in the North Sea, and work together more closely on green industry and circular economy technologies, naming batteries and green shipping are examples. Støre held out the prospect of increasing liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to central Europe, adding that his country plans to expand capacity in the summer with the help of an LNG terminal in northern Norway, according to a Spiegel report. Norway wants to help Germany with special ships for liquefied gas, several of which Germany will co-finance, government sources told the magazine.

The war in Ukraine has forced Germany to radically rethink its energy policy, given that the country is heavily dependent on Russian fossil fuels. Germany put the contentious Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project on hold and pledged to speed up the shift to renewables.

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