14 May 2020, 14:03
Sören Amelang

Germany's gas grid operators present concept for 2030 green hydrogen grid

Clean Energy Wire

Germany can establish an initial grid for transporting green hydrogen made with renewables by 2030 at limited costs, according to the country's gas transmission grid operator umbrella organisation FNB Gas. The lobby group said the network covering 1200 kilometres would mainly consist of repurposed natural gas pipelines and could be built at the "justifiable cost" of 660 million euros. "This would create a completely new energy network in Germany on the basis of the existing natural gas network, giving industries such as steel or chemicals the opportunity to become climate neutral," said the group's director Inga Posch. She said gas grid fees would only have to increase by less than one percent by 2031 to finance the project. The initial green gas grid would mainly serve to connect demand hot spots in the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony with projects to make green hydrogen using wind turbines in the North of the country.

In the fight against climate change, hydrogen made with renewable electricity is increasingly seen as a silver bullet for sectors with particularly stubborn emissions, such as heavy industry. As one of the key drivers behind a pan-European effort, Germany has set out to become a global leader in "tomorrow's oil" – not only to launch the next stages of its landmark energy transition, but also to secure a promising growth market for its internationally reputed industry. The country will flesh out its ambitions in a highly anticipated National Hydrogen Strategy expected in the coming weeks, which might become part of a "green stimulus" programme to restart the economy after the coronavirus crisis.

Initial H2 2030 grid in blue; later additions of "visionary grid" in green
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