The European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) initiative, an industry association made up of gas transmission system operators (TSOs), now targets almost 28,000km of hydrogen pipelines by 2030, and 53,000km by 2040.
Around 60% of this would be repurposed existing natural gas pipelines, and 40% would be new pipelines.
This time last year the EHB proposed an 11,600km network by 2030, rising to 39,700km by 2040. The EHB has since grown to 31 TSOs from 28 countries, from 23 in 21.
The EU’s Repower EU strategy proposes 20.6mn t/yr of renewable hydrogen by 2030, including includes 10mn t/yr of imports, to replace around 25bn-50bn m³/yr of Russian gas.
EHB proposes five supply and import corridors by 2030. One would connect supply from Tunisia and Algeria through Italy to central Europe, leveraging existing pipelines in Italy, Austria, Slovakia and Czech Republic. This could help decarbonise industry in southern Germany. A southwest corridor would transport green hydrogen produced in the Iberian Peninsula through France into western Germany, and could eventually provide access to imports from Morocco.
A corridor in the North Sea would build on Dutch plans for 2027, expanding this to a ring network connecting Rotterdam with the ports of Zeebrugge and Antwerp in Belgium, Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuttel in Germany, and Le Havre in France, all of which are likely to play a role in importing hydrogen and its derivatives.
A Nordic and Baltic corridor would tap offshore wind potential could support hydrogen exports to central Europe, EHB said. But this would consist mostly of new pipelines, making it especially dependent on funding and a quick permitting and planning process, it said.
A fifth corridor in eastern and southeast Europe could connect buyers in central Europe to regions with abundant renewable energy potential, such as Romania, Greece and Ukraine, through repurposed gas pipelines. But there is uncertainty around the evolution of future natural gas flows in this region, which affects development of this corridor, EHB said.
Transport costs for hydrogen on onshore pipelines will be around €0.11-0.21/kg per 1,000km, compared with €0.17-0.32/kg for subsea pipelines, the EHB said.
Source: Argus MediaTags: EHB, Gas Pipeline, Hydrogen, Repower EU