The Georgian government has asked the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to explore the country’s potential for generating green hydrogen which could then be blended and transported to end-users through existing gas pipelines.
Earlier in July, the European Commission adopted the long-awaited hydrogen strategy, in order to transform Europe’s energy system and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
Hydrogen can be used as a feedstock, fuel or an energy carrier and storage and has many possible applications across industry, transport, power and buildings sectors. Most importantly, it does not emit CO2 and almost no air pollution when used. Now, the priority is to develop renewable hydrogen, produced using mainly wind and solar energy.
After the EU has launched the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, with the EBRD as a member, Georgia has decided to be on the map of the hydrogen producers.
The EBRD agreed to provide technical cooperation support to assess the investment requirements in Georgia for green hydrogen generation, as well as to upgrade existing assets to transport blended hydrogen to end-users.
“Georgia is making a very timely move in terms of utilising its hydro potential and future-proofing its gas infrastructure to accept low carbon fuels,” said Aida Sitdikova, Director and Head of Energy Eurasia, in the EBRD’s Sustainable Infrastructure Group. “We are pleased to support them with these first steps.”
How much Georgia’s pipelines will need to be upgraded to carry hydrogen along with its existing gas will be part of the investigation, according to the operation leader for the project, Ross Palmer.
Indeed, Georgia could reach a 100 per cent renewable future, thanks to its tremendous resources in hydro, wind and solar. And also Giorgi Chikovani, CEO of the Georgian Energy Development Fund insisted on the pace of technologies development.
“It is essential that we also include other resources like hydrogen,” he told CEENERGYNEWS. “For sure the energy demand is growing in the whole region and solar and wind will be limited at some point.”