Germany’s gas pipelines are hydrogen-ready – gas standardisation body
Clean Energy Wire
The steel pipelines used in Germany’s gas grid are generally suitable for the transport of hydrogen, said the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW). “The research results are ground-breaking for the future of hydrogen,” said CEO Gerald Linke. Of the three challenges along the value chain – production, transport and utilisation – transport “has now been essentially solved”, he added. Pipelines could continue to be used and only certain parts of some installations would have to be upgraded or replaced. This meant that large parts of the existing natural gas infrastructure could also be used for hydrogen in the future, he said. For the assessment, a representative cross-section of the steels used in German and partly also European pipelines was exposed to extreme operating and ageing influences under hydrogen. The assessment found the steels aged well and were not subject to excessive fracture. DVGW is a recognized standardisation body for the gas and water industry.
In the fight against climate change, hydrogen made with renewable electricity is considered key for the decarbonisation of sectors with particularly stubborn emissions, such as heavy industry and aviation. However, it has different characteristics than natural gas, and the question of how much of the existing infrastructure could be used in the future is important.