Strategies & Studies
The development of a hydrogen infrastructure in Germany offers many opportunities - and presents us with many challenges. If we take the right steps, we can exploit the huge CO2 savings potential of green hydrogen in just a few years. The planning is based on central studies and strategy papers, which we have made available here in an overview.
Not all hydrogen is the same. The degree of purity plays a decisive role in the application of the climate-friendly energy carrier. Who needs which degree of purity and in what quantity? This is what DBI GUT and Frontier Economics have now investigated in the short study "Hydrogen quality in an overall German hydrogen network" commissioned by the GET H2 initiative and the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW).
Based on a meta-analysis of existing hydrogen studies, a quantity framework for the year 2045 was defined for various application sectors. It became clear that in addition to the thermal application sectors and use in fuel cells, there is also a significant demand for hydrogen that is used as a raw material in production processes in the chemical industry, in refineries and for PtX products. The study also describes the effects that the transport of hydrogen in converted natural gas pipelines as well as storage in salt caverns can have on quality. With these findings, the study provides important indications as to which open questions on the topic of hydrogen quality still need to be clarified.
The study report is available for download here.
A sustainable hydrogen economy must have Europe in mind from the start. The very well developed European gas transmission network as a central transport route is an important basis for this. In April 2021, 23 gas transmission system operators expanded the vision of a Europe-wide hydrogen transmission network with the extension of the European Hydrogen Backbone, which was first designed in 2020. A network was drawn up that now extends over around 40,000 kilometres from Finland to Spain and from Greece to Great Britain by the year 2040. 21 European countries were considered for the concept.
The paper Extended European Hydrogen Backbone is available for download here.
The hydrogen infrastructure is one of the central pillars of the integrated hydrogen economy in Germany and Europe. The rapid, targeted development of a hydrogen network that ensures the supply with the climate-friendly energy carrier is the goal of the German transmission system operators. In its Hydrogen Report, the FNB Gas has now published twelve recommendations for an integrated process of network development planning for natural gas and hydrogen and linked them to the demand that integrated network planning be anchored in law. The DVGW, the BDEW, the VKU and H2vorOrt contributed to the report.
The Hydrogen Report by FNB Gas is available for download here (German).
“Hydrogen infrastructure – the pillar of energy transition” – this is the title of a white paper published by Siemens Energy, Gascade and Nowega. The publication looks at the conversion of long-distance gas networks to hydrogen and thus provides important information on the development of a hydrogen infrastructure in Germany.
The conversion of part of the existing natural gas transmission network for the transport of hydrogen is part of the German government’s National Hydrogen Strategy. For the whitepaper, the three companies have looked at detailed questions that underline the feasibility of this planning. Energy flow and pipeline capacity are considered as well as storage options and practical cases for the hydrogen economy in operation. The model project GET H2 Nukleus is also considered as a case.
The Whitepaper ist available for download here.
In June 2020, the A.T. Kearney Energy Transition Institute presented a very detailed study of hydrogen applications and their economic viability. The thorough review looks at the role of hydrogen in energy transition, key H2 applications, the H2 value chain and business models worldwide. The international perspective in particular is an important indicator of the status and competitiveness of a German and European hydrogen economy.
The detailed document is available for download here.
On June 10, 2020, the German government passed the long-awaited National Hydrogen Strategy. The document addresses many of the demands listed above and lays important foundations for the creation of a future-oriented hydrogen economy in Germany. Hydrogen Strategy for download as PDF (German).
Only minor adjustments to the Gas Cooperation Agreement (KoV Gas) are necessary to integrate hydrogen into the gas industry. This is the result of an expert report by the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM), commissioned by the GET H2 partners Gascade, Nowega, RWE Generation and Uniper.
The KoV Gas is the cooperation agreement between the German operators of gas supply networks. It regulates the cooperation between the network operators so that shippers only have to conclude one entry and one exit contract each, even if they transport gas over several networks. So far, hydrogen is not included. However, hydrogen could be included in the adjustment cycle of the KoV Gas, which is scheduled for October 2022, says the report. The proposed adjustments are mainly of an editorial nature and do not require fundamental new regulations.
On behalf of Nowega, the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM) has prepared a legal study for the implementation of a nucleus of a nationwide, public H2 infrastructure. The study was triggered by the feed-in requests for regenerative H2, which ENERTRAG and RWE Generation SE had submitted to Nowega. The feed-in requests are based on the concept for the planned GET H2 project in Lingen.
The result of the study is "that the envisaged nucleus of a hydrogen infrastructure is permissible under the current legal framework". However, the legislator must open and further develop the legal framework in order to "enable the integration of hydrogen into the gas market". The study presents possible solutions to overcome the current obstacles. For example, it concretizes the above-mentioned demand for a consideration of H2 in the Energy Industry Act (EnWG), in ordinances and in the gas market regulations, and for a consistent implementation of the necessary steps.
Heavy trucks are one of the applications in the transport sector where hydrogen-powered fuel cells can pay off. In a working paper, the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) has outlined the development of a filling station network by 2050. Around 140 hydrogen filling stations for heavy trucks - which are different from those for passenger cars - along the motorway network in Germany would be sufficient to cover the entire demand.
The European Union wants to become climate-neutral by 2050. Large quantities of hydrogen will be needed to achieve this goal. There is no shortage of suitable locations for the large-scale industrial production of green hydrogen from renewable energies. Equally important, however, is the question of how this hydrogen can be transported to where it is needed. The study "No regret Hydrogen" by the think tank Agora Energiewende deals with the first steps towards building a European hydrogen infrastructure.
Key findings: Green hydrogen will quickly become the most economical option for decarbonisation, especially in non-electrifiable, industrial applications. The development of the H2 network should focus on central corridors that will be utilised to capacity in any case. This network will be smaller than the current natural gas network.