Grid agency seeks information on gas pipelines fit for conversion to hydrogen transport
Clean Energy Wire
The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has approved the German gas transmission grid operators’ framework scenario to develop the grid over the next ten years, but called on them to identify natural gas pipelines that could be converted to transport hydrogen in the future. “We support the development of the hydrogen economy in Germany,” said BNetzA president Jochen Homann. “In doing so, we are making a contribution to achieving the climate targets.” By converting existing pipelines, Germany could ensure the quick build-up of a hydrogen network. The agency also told grid operators to develop a concept on how to implement the requirements under Germany’s Climate Action Law, and especially on how to reach the goal of climate neutrality by 2045. The grid operators will now use the approved scenario to develop the official grid development plan for the years 2022-2023. They aim to publish a first draft on 1 July.
Germany plans to phase out fossil fuels like natural gas to reach climate neutrality by 2045, but the government has said the fuel would still be needed for a transitional period. Gas infrastructure could then be used to transport green hydrogen made with renewable power installations, which offers a way to store energy for periods of little wind or sunshine. New gas power capacity is to be built over the coming years, but this does not necessarily mean Germany will consume more fossil gas than today, as these plants would only run during limited periods of time to supplement renewable power generation . In any case, most gas in Germany is used for heating and in industrial processes, where more efficient applications and the switch to electricity lowers overall consumption.