News

EHB launches its website to share the latest infrastructure maps

Today we announced the launch of a dedicated website of the European Hydrogen Backbone initiative. The website provides a resource of all previous publications of the initiative, as well as an up-to-date and interactive version of the latest vision maps that were published earlier this month (link).

In tandem, the EHB will present a new appendix to the April 5th report, covering narratives that describe the state of play around hydrogen in each of the 28 member countries.

On the website you will be able to:

  • See the (interactive) EHB vision
  • Read up on the different country narratives
  • Contact the initiative for further inquiries
  • Find all our latest news items and reports

An open initiative

The EHB aims to accelerate Europe’s decarbonisation journey by defining the critical role of hydrogen infrastructure – based on existing and new pipelines – in enabling the development of a competitive, liquid, pan-European renewable and low-carbon hydrogen market. By 2040 this could include a majority 60% repurposed pipelines and 40% new. The initiative seeks to foster market competition, security of supply, and cross-border collaboration between European countries and their neighbours.

The EHB initiative is looking forward to continuing to discuss its vision with stakeholders including policy makers, companies, and initiatives along the hydrogen value chain.

EHB signs MoU with TSO of Ukraine on collaboration towards an integrated European hydrogen infrastructure

“The EHB vision is to build an integrated pan-European hydrogen infrastructure to supply hydrogen to end-users at a low cost. The large demand volumes identified in previous EHB work, and the acceleration anticipated as part of RePowerEU, will need as much European domestic supply and imports from neighbouring regions as possible. In our assessment of supply potential from countries neighbouring the EHB, we identified among others also Ukraine as essential. I am happy to announce that today EHB entered into an MoU with the TSO of UA. It is the basis of future collaborations to establish the right environment to connect Ukrainian assets to the EU hydrogen infrastructure. We are very close to the Ukrainian TSO and all those affected by the war” – says Daniel Muthmann, Chairman of European Hydrogen Backbone.

“Ukraine could be a great partner of the EU when it comes to implementing the “Hydrogen Strategy. Our system of gas pipelines should be of service for the hydrogen transportation to EU. We are happy to announce that TSO of Ukraine entered into an MoU with the European Hydrogen Backbone. We expect that collaboration with other European gas TSO’s will support a more rapid implementation of this vision” – says Pawel Stanczak, Deputy General Director for Development and Transformation, Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine / Оператор ГТС України.

About LLC Gas TSO of Ukraine

Gas TSO of Ukraine is a natural monopoly that provides sufficient and diversified capacity for gas transmission to Ukrainian and European consumers to ensure energy security and uninterrupted supply in any circumstances.

Gas TSO of Ukraine in numbers:
Cross-border interconnection points with the TSOs of 6 adjacent countries; Almost 11.000 high skilled and educated employees; More than 33 thousand km of pipeline length, 57 compressor stations, 33 gas metering stations and 1,389 gas distribution stations; Among TOP-50 best employers in Ukraine according to Forbes Ukraine and Work.ua

Company contact: Kadenskyi Mykola, kadenskyi-my@tsoua.com

European Hydrogen Backbone initiative adds two new members

The EHB initiative is delighted to welcome two more members in addition to the six new members recently announced: Fluxswiss (Switzerland) and Transgaz (Romania).

By broadening its base, this initiative has now reached 31 energy infrastructure operators covering 29 European countries. All members are united through a shared vision of a climate-neutral Europe enabled by a thriving renewable and low-carbon hydrogen market.

Fluxswiss (Switzerland)

Rudy Van Beurden

+32476520228

Transgaz (Romania)

Rares Leonard Mitrache

+40 (0)269 801751

European Hydrogen Backbone grows to meet REPowerEU’s 2030 hydrogen targets

  • Accelerated EHB network vision by 2030 in response to European Commission’s REPowerEU communication and call to greater action on climate protection and European energy system resilience.
  • European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) network grows by more than 110% since initial launch one and a half years ago – expanded members present vision for approximately 53,000 km hydrogen pipeline infrastructure in 28 European countries by 2040.
  • The Backbone is expected to be made up of ~60%-40% repurposed natural gas versus new pipelines in 2040.
  • Digital, interactive vision maps will be published as part of new EHB website later in April.

Today, the European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) initiative presents a promising solution to accelerate hydrogen adoption for greater energy security and meet renewable targets

In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the onus is on European countries to achieve greater energy independence. This has led to a greater push to accelerate and scale up the adoption of decarbonised energy sources as highlighted in the REPowerEU statement, a plan to phase out Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels from Russia well before 2030 and to increase the resilience of the EU-wide energy system. Amongst other measures, REPowerEU introduces an update of its vision for a dedicated hydrogen transport ambition to reach an additional 15 million tonnes (Mt) of renewable hydrogen on top of the 5.6 Mt foreseen under Fit for 55, going beyond the targets of the EU’s hydrogen strategy.[1] Achieving these targets will require a rapid acceleration of the development of an integrated gas and hydrogen infrastructure across Europe. In light of these events, the EHB has accelerated its programme from 2035 to 2030 with the aim to meet the REPowerEU targets. The group proposes a hydrogen network of ~53,000 km by 2040, with further growth expected after 2040. The network, reflecting the vision of [31] European energy, hydrogen storage facilities, and port infrastructure operators,[2] covers 28 European countries and creates a diverse set of hydrogen import opportunities. The vision launched today follows the EHB reports published in July 2020 and April 2021, which sparked an uptick in interest across Europe. Since the initial launch one and a half years ago, the EHB’s 2040 vision network has expanded to 18 new countries and has grown by 110%.

Accelerated vision to meet climate ambitions and increase European energy system resilience

In view of tighter national and European climate ambitions and following quotes from the EC’s REPowerEU communication to accelerate hydrogen, that can replace 25-50 bcm per year of imported Russian gas by 2030 and political developments have pushed EHB to accelerate its work programme, bringing the 2035 scenarios to 2030. The updated hydrogen infrastructure network maps presented today build on the EHB initiative’s prior body of work. The accelerated EHB vision shows that by 2030, five pan-European hydrogen supply and import corridors with almost 28,000 km of initial pipelines could emerge, connecting industrial clusters, ports, and hydrogen valleys to regions of abundant demand – and laying the foundation for future large-scale hydrogen supply. The EHB’s vision is an adequate vehicle through which the EC’s 2030 ambition to promote development of a 20.6 Mt renewable and low-carbon European hydrogen market could be realised.

Cost-effective onshore and offshore pipeline transport of hydrogen

The ~53,000 km envisaged backbone by 2040 requires an estimated total investment of €80-143 billion based on using ~60% of repurposed natural gas pipelines and ~40% new pipeline stretches, including subsea pipelines. This investment cost estimate, which is relatively limited in the context of overall investments needed in the European energy transition, includes subsea pipelines and interconnectors linking continental demand centres to offshore energy production hubs. Transporting hydrogen over 1,000 km along the proposed onshore backbone would on average cost €0.11-0.21 per kg of hydrogen, making the EHB the most cost-effective option for large-scale, long-distance hydrogen transport. In case hydrogen is transported exclusively via subsea pipelines, the cost would be €0.17-0.32 per kg of hydrogen per 1,000 km transported.

Stable regulatory framework required

The hydrogen infrastructure maps for 2030 and 2040 published today reflect the vision of 31 European gas TSOs, based on their analysis of how infrastructure could evolve to meet decarbonisation targets. It is important to stress that the hydrogen transport routes and timelines in the maps are not set in stone. The final backbone design and timeline depend on market conditions for hydrogen and natural gas and the creation of a stable regulatory framework.

“With EHB, the participating infrastructure companies took a European perspective for upscaling hydrogen from the start. Going beyond just regional clusters and anticipating a Europewide hydrogen transportation infrastructure based on the existing gas infrastructure early on creates confidence for future market participants, access to various competitive supply sources and security of demand for project developers. The current geopolitical situation underlines how valuable Europe’s gas infrastructure is. It is a real asset in the transformation” says Daniel Muthmann, Chairman of the EHB initiative.

An open initiative

The EHB aims to accelerate Europe’s decarbonisation journey by defining the critical role of hydrogen infrastructure – based on existing and new pipelines – in enabling the development of a competitive, liquid, pan-European renewable and low-carbon hydrogen market. By 2040 this could include a majority 60% repurposed pipelines and 40% new. The initiative seeks to foster market competition, security of supply, and cross-border collaboration between European countries and their neighbours.

The EHB initiative is looking forward to continuing to discuss its vision with stakeholders including policy makers, companies, and initiatives along the hydrogen value chain. An up-to-date and interactive version of the latest vision maps will be published alongside the EHB’s flagship website later in April.

[1] European Commission (2022) – REPowerEU : Joint European Action for more affordable, secure, and sustainable energy (COM(2022) 109 final). Source: https://energy.ec.europa.eu/repowereu-joint-european-action-more-affordable-secure-and-sustainable-energy_en

[2] Note: since the announcement of the EHB initiative’s work programme in January 2022, 2 additional TSOs, Transgaz Romania and FluxSwiss (Switzerland) have joined the initiative.

European Hydrogen Backbone initiative adds six new members and sets its agenda for 2022

Following today’s announcement, the EHB initiative is delighted to welcome six additional members: Amber Grid (Lithuania), Bulgartransgaz (Bulgaria), Conexus Baltic Grid (Latvia), Gassco (Norway), Plinacro (Croatia), and REN (Portugal).

By broadening its base, this initiative has now reached 29 energy infrastructure operators covering 27 European countries. All members are united through a shared vision of a climate-neutral Europe enabled by a thriving renewable and low-carbon hydrogen market.

Since its inception in 2020, the EHB has contributed to the development of a European hydrogen market through the publications of its flagship EHB maps, with a vision of a pan-European hydrogen transport infrastructure. These network maps and corresponding studies demonstrate how this vision is both technically feasible and economically affordable. The initiative’s contributions have been well-received by hydrogen market players and policy makers alike. Most recently, the EHB initiative’s technical inputs were referenced several times in the European Commission’s hydrogen and decarbonised gas package, published in December 2021.

In 2022, the EHB initiative will focus its efforts on developing techno-economic assessments of frequently mentioned hydrogen supply corridors, and the potential role of regional cooperation by infrastructure operators in carrying them out. In parallel, the group will be updating, expanding, and digitising its network maps while revamping the EHB website to provide stakeholders easier access to key insights.

Through these activities, the EHB aims to accelerate Europe’s decarbonisation journey by defining the critical role of hydrogen infrastructure – based on existing and new pipelines – in enabling the development of a competitive, liquid, pan-European renewable and low-carbon hydrogen market. The initiative seeks to foster market competition, security of supply, security of demand, and cross-border collaboration between European countries and their neighbours.

Commissioner Kadri Simson welcomes EHB analysis – Webinar recording now available

Ms Simson praised the new study as a welcome contribution to the debate on an EU hydrogen economy and as useful input for the legislative proposals that the Commission is preparing.

”Only through developing a shared vision and goals for an EU hydrogen ecosystem, we can make sure that the EU will lead in building the hydrogen economy for a global clean energy transition”

Ms Simson concluded.

The recording of the webinar is now available! The slides that were presented can be found here.

New Study: sufficient hydrogen available within reach of the European Hydrogen backbone

  • New study by the European Hydrogen Backbone initiative estimates 2,300 TWh of hydrogen demand in EU+UK by 2050 corresponding to 20-25% of future EU and UK energy demand
  • Sufficient potential exists to produce this quantity as green and blue hydrogen within the EU and UK, hydrogen imports from neighbouring regions are likely
  • Pipeline transport more cost-effective than seaborne transport and powerlines

Large future hydrogen demand to make Europe a climate-neutral continent
The EU and UK could see a hydrogen demand of around 2,300 TWh (of which 2,000 TWh in the EU) by 2050. This equals about 45% of EU+UK natural gas consumption in 2019. Hydrogen is crucial to decarbonise industry, in particular chemicals (ammonia and high-value chemicals), iron and steel, and fuel production. Hydrogen is also expected to play an important role in providing dispatchable electricity, as a heavy transport fuel and in some countries in the heating of buildings.

Europe can be self-sufficient in green and blue hydrogen, imports are likely
The total expected hydrogen demand could potentially be met by green hydrogen produced in the EU and UK, using renewable electricity. Yet producing such quantities of green hydrogen domestically is subject to public acceptance of an accelerated expansion of renewable installed capacity, financing, regulation and quality standard setting. It is anticipated that the economics of green hydrogen production costs will improve, allowing a rapid scale-up. In addition to green hydrogen, large quantities of relatively cheap blue hydrogen can be produced in Europe to quickly drive emission reductions and accelerate the pace of the transition. The study also shows that hydrogen imports by pipeline can provide an attractive complement to domestic supply.

Hydrogen Backbone is cost-effective and essential to create a European cross-border hydrogen market
Repurposed existing gas infrastructure plays a crucial role in connecting hydrogen supply and demand locations. Hydrogen pipelines are the most cost-efficient option for long-distance, high-volume transport at €0.11-0.21/kg per 1,000 km, outcompeting transport by ship for all reasonable distances within Europe and neighbouring regions. Also, the study shows that for high-volume transport of energy when the desired end-product is hydrogen, even without including flexibility costs such as energy storage, pipelines are more cost-effective than powerlines delivering the same amount of energy.

Our new study shows that hydrogen will be crucial in multiple energy demand sectors. And the Backbone will be an enabler to connect supply with demand within Europe as well as allowing for cost-competitive imports”

says Daniel Muthmann, Coordinator of the EHB initiative and Head of corporate development, strategy, policy and communication at OGE.