Germany and Belgium agreed to link their hydrogen networks, double gas flow into Germany and explore the possibility of a second high-voltage electricity interconnector for cross-border flows, the countries announced following the first Belgian-German Energy Summit. Belgian Prime minister Alexander De Croo and German chancellor Olaf Scholz, together with the countries’ respective energy ministers, met on 14 February to set priorities on energy cooperation and ensure their implementation. In a joint statement, the two countries announced they had agreed to:
- further develop hydrogen infrastructure between Belgium and Germany, with the clear goal of connecting it by 2028.
- facilitate a major increase in the flow of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Belgium to Germany, with the goal of doubling transit.
- jointly examine possibilities offered by carbon capture and storage (CCS).
- intensify cooperation on offshore energy in the North Sea and focus on joint hybrid and cross-border offshore projects.
- implement a second high-voltage interconnector for cross-border electricity flows.
- promote the introduction of market coupling between the European continent and the United Kingdom and Ireland.
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Germany and Belgium have cooperated on energy for years – the first interconnector between the countries went into operation at the end of 2020 – but the Russian war on Ukraine and the acceleration of the energy transition “have further increased the need for cooperation and accelerated the implementation of joint projects,” De Croo said. LNG from Belgium, alongside that of Norway and the Netherlands, helped make up for cut gas flows into Germany’s Nord Stream 1, contributing significantly to the country’s energy security, Scholz said. Until recently, Germany had no infrastructure to import LNG. “Energy cooperation between Belgium and Germany has become ever more important,” the countries said in a joint statement. To ensure the agreements are implemented, evaluate progress and identify new cooperation fields, a group of senior officials will meet at least once a year.
SOURCE: CLEAN ENERGY WIRE