Today, a group of eleven European gas infrastructure companies from nine EU member states present a plan for a dedicated hydrogen transport infrastructure. New research shows that existing gas infrastructure can be modified to transport hydrogen at an affordable cost.
The plan has been developed by Enagás, Energinet, Fluxys Belgium, Gasunie, GRTgaz, NET4GAS, OGE, ONTRAS, Teréga, Snam and Swedegas. The companies foresee a network gradually emerging from the mid-2020s onwards to an initial 6,800 km pipeline network by 2030, connecting ‘hydrogen valleys’. By 2040, a hydrogen network of 23,000 km is foreseen, 75% of which will consist of converted natural gas pipelines, connected by new pipeline stretches (25%). Ultimately, two parallel gas transport networks will emerge: a dedicated hydrogen and a dedicated (bio)methane network. The network can be used for large-scale hydrogen transport over longer distances in an energy-efficient way, also taking into consideration hydrogen imports.
Creating this network has an estimated cost of €27 to €64 billion, which is relatively limited in the overall context of the European energy transition. The levelised cost is estimated to be between €0.09-0.17 per kg of hydrogen per 1000 km, allowing hydrogen to be transported cost-efficiently over long distances across Europe. The relatively wide range in the estimate is mainly due to uncertainties in (location dependent) compressor costs.
Download the European Hydrogen Backbone plan here.