Germany: Transmission System Operators Publish Map for Visionary Hydrogen Network (H2 Network)

By January 29, 2020 4   min read  (615 words)

January 29, 2020 |

fuel cells works, Gas Network, hydrogen, fuel cells
  • Visionary hydrogen network covers around 5,900 km and is 90 percent based on the existing natural gas network
  • Hydrogen is included for the first time in the current Gas 2020-2030 Network Development Plan (NEP)

The German transmission system operators (FNB) have presented a vision for a first nationwide hydrogen infrastructure in the form of a network map. Lines with a total length of approximately 5,900 km. 

This visionary pipeline system is based on over 90 percent of the existing natural gas network and is being continuously developed. Much of the future focus of hydrogen consumption in the industrial, mobility and heating sectors, as well as numerous underground storage facilities, can be connected to the focus of supply via the piping system.  


fnb h2 gas vision

In addition to renewable electricity, climate-neutral gas, especially green hydrogen, is the key to successful decarbonization for many sectors. The Federal Ministry of Economics and dena have identified this in the Gas 2030 dialogue process across industries. With the publication of the visionary hydrogen network, the TSOs want to contribute to the hydrogen strategy announced by the Federal Government and show a first concrete step in the future hydrogen economy.
“The transmission system operators are also committed to using hydrogen for the existing gas infrastructure. We are working flat out on concrete technical and network planning solutions so that integration can succeed, ”explains Ralph Bahke, CEO of FNB Gas, on the occasion of the publication of the visionary hydrogen network.

Various measures are necessary to make the energy transition with hydrogen a success. Of central importance is the creation of a supra-regional infrastructure intended exclusively for the transport of hydrogen to connect various domestic generation sources (PtG plants in regions with a high volume of renewable energies), storage and imports with consumers. The strongly increasing demand for hydrogen, which has been documented in many studies, particularly in industry, but also in the mobility and heating sectors, makes this transregional hydrogen transport necessary. “We are creating the backbone of the future hydrogen economy,” Bahke continues.  

The TSOs deal with the development of implementation options and implementation paths. “Our goal is to make the existing gas infrastructure usable for the transport of hydrogen. We are examining selected line sections in specific projects so that we can quickly supply the first industrial companies with hydrogen, ”explains Bahke.
In addition, future hydrogen generation and hydrogen requirements will be included in the current modeling of the Network Development Plan (NEP) Gas 2020-2030 for the first time. In addition, the TSOs made specific suggestions for the further development of the NEP gas. “We are committed to ensuring that hydrogen will be integrated into this proven process as an additional gas quality (in addition to H gas and L gas). Since the legal framework needs to be adjusted for this, we appeal to politicians and the regulatory authority to take the necessary steps quickly, ”adds Inga Posch, Managing Director of the Association of Transmission System Operators.

With their vision for a national hydrogen infrastructure, the TSOs want to give an impulse for economically efficient infrastructural development for the hydrogen economy in Germany. The TSOs will also actively contribute their expertise as a gas network operator in the upcoming process for the further development of the national hydrogen strategy in order to support and promote Germany’s pioneering role in the field of hydrogen. In conclusion, Bahke points out that in addition to the creation of a transport infrastructure for hydrogen, an organized market ramp-up for the electrolysers and the creation of an incentive system for the demand for renewable and decarbonized gases is necessary if the climate targets are to be achieved.

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