Hydrogen and biomethane will play an important role in the transition to a zero-emission energy system, especially when intelligently combined with electricity from renewable sources. This idea is the basis of an ambitious infrastructure plan developed by a group of European gas operators, the feasibility of which has been assessed in the new European Hydrogen Backbone paper.
According to the study, prepared with the consulting firm Guidehouse, the current gas infrastructure can be adapted to transport hydrogen at affordable costs. The aim is to create a network across Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland, linking industries, production plants, carbon capture and storage sites and large renewable installations. The idea is that by 2040 the pipeline network will be 23,000 km long, 75% of it made up of traditional refitted pipelines while the remaining 25% will be new. The transport capacity will be in excess of 1,130 TWh.