Last week, six industry associations from the gas distribution, transmission, import and storage sectors, in cooperation with the membership group, European Hydrogen Backbone, launched a website visualising hydrogen projects across Europe in an interactive map. The announcement was made by one of the six associations, Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE).
“The existing gas infrastructure in Europe is an important enabler for the upscaling of hydrogen, the creation of a European hydrogen market and the achievement of REPowerEU targets,” the Chair of the European Hydrogen Backbone Initiative, Daniel Muthmann said. “Transparency about this infrastructure creates confidence along the future hydrogen value chain. This publication which will be kept updated regularly is an important milestone in this regard.”
The interactive map was developed using “bottom-up collection of data for relevant infrastructure projects”, including those for demand and production, and finalised projects in 2030, 2040 and 2050. According to GIE’s press release, the map satisfies the European Commission’s request to visualise “all hydrogen infrastructure projects collected under different existing processes in a form of a map” in their conclusions at the 36th European Gas Regulatory Forum in May 2022.
“Hydrogen infrastructure must be seen as a whole ecosystem. It’s clear when looking at this map,” added the Secretary General of the GIE, Boyana Achovski. “It illustrates that existing gas infrastructure operators are already developing multiple projects that will support the development of the hydrogen economy, contributing as well to REPowerEU targets. Transmission, distribution, storage, import terminals: they will all play a role in accelerating Europe’s decarbonisation journey.”
In addition, the press release from GIE noted that the map “shows that infrastructure is not a bottleneck, rather an enabler, in developing the hydrogen economy. Repurposing existing infrastructure is key to connecting hydrogen supply and demand clusters to create a pan-EU Hydrogen Backbone and will provide for decarbonisation in the long-term perspective.” Adding that “hydrogen storage is an essential technology required for the emergence of a hydrogen ecosystem and the terminals and ports are key to facilitate imports of hydrogen and its derivatives. Connections of hydrogen to the distribution system is an immediate opportunity to create synergies among sectors at a local level.”
The six industry associations comprise CEDEC, ENTSOG, Eurogas, GD4S, GEODE and GIE. Major regional players, including the Polish GAZ-SYSTEM, EUStream Slovak Gas TSG, Lithuanian Amber Grid, Latvian Conexus Baltic Grid and Bulgarian Bulgartransgaz are members of the European Hydrogen Backbone group.
Mapping projects in CEE
The map includes more than 220 Hydrogen projects, 120 Hydrogen transmission and distribution projects, 40 Hydrogen storage projects and 10 Hydrogen terminals and ports projects and 40 Hydrogen demand and production projects. Among them is the Giurgiu – Nodlac corridor modernisation for the hydrogen transmission project, which aims to adapt the existing infrastructure of the BRUA corridor in Romania. The project is managed by Transgaz and is set to be completed by 2029.
Another regional project is the Polish Hydrogen Backbone Infrastructure Project, which plans to construct a nationwide H2 grid that connects supply sources such as wind farms in northern Poland and on the Baltic Sea with consumption points and industrial clusters located in the south and other parts of the country. The project is run by GAZ-SYSTEM and is scheduled for completion by 2039.