The European gas infrastructure can help deliver the EU Hydrogen Strategy
Innovative projects under the umbrella of Gas Infrastructure Europe
Innovative projects under the umbrella of Gas Infrastructure Europe
Welcoming all types of gases, we, Gas Infrastructure Europe, represent the interests of 69 members from 26 European countries. Our members operate the underground gas storages, LNG terminals and transmission pipelines.
GIE currently provides citizens with more than fifty thousand jobs, while supplying around 25% of EU’s primary energy consumption. GIE shares EU’s ambition of reaching climate neutrality by 2050.
To establish a stronger and more innovative European Union, GIE members are already initiating numerous pilot projects to support the deployment of low-carbon and renewable hydrogen.
Within the context of the soon-to-be-released EU Hydrogen Strategy, we invite you to dive into the following pages to learn more about how the gas infrastructure can help deliver the EU Hydrogen Strategy and about the innovative technologies that are currently developed by the European gas infrastructure operators.
Energy security is a key enabler for the economic activity and an essential element of the recovery from the current crisis. As included in the G20 Extraordinary Energy Ministers Meeting Statement, issued on the 14th of April 2020, “ensuring affordable and secure energy are key in addressing the health, well-being and resilience of all countries throughout the crisis response and recovery phases”.
During the crisis, the European gas infrastructure played a vital role in ensuring that essential services were maintained for the good of European citizens, communities and their economy. The gas infrastructure is a driving force of the energy security of supply as it delivers uninterrupted energy across Europe to continually produce electricity, fuel industry and transport, and it provides affordable energy for cooking, heating and cooling to European citizens.
A fast and cost-efficient transition to a decarbonised society is possible if all available technologies and resources are considered. The European gas infrastructure and hydrogen will play a key role in contributing to the post-pandemic economic recovery and achieving climate-neutrality by 2050.
In this respect, GIE supports the continuation of the European Union’s hydrogen initiatives for building a comprehensive and open-minded EU’s Hydrogen Strategy.
Paving the way for a clean, secure, affordable European energy supply is essential for all of us – and the gas infrastructure is ready to enable this. The existing gas infrastructure will be key in the development of a robust hydrogen value chain while contributing to the establishment of a stronger, sustainable and more innovative European Union. Here what the gas infrastructure can do to enhance the upscaling of the hydrogen strategy:
The gas transmission system is mostly well interconnected across EU’s countries and allows for highly economic and efficient supply, transport and storage of enormous amounts of energy from production sites over long distances. Gas grids are already suited for transporting biomethane and can be fit for hydrogen with additional investments.
Gas storages can store sustainable and fluctuating energy on a large scale and at low cost, thereby ensuring security of supply. They provide and run flexibility tools from intra-hourly up to seasonal operational requirements from customers enabling a robust and resilient system. Gas storages can also play an important role in storing renewable and low-carbon gases, including hydrogen, in the future: salt caverns, with some retrofitting, are suited for hydrogen and the current assessment on the potential of depleted gas fields is showing their great potential. In a future energy system largely dominated by intermittent energy production from wind and sun, the large flexibility and storage capacity provided by the gas system will be necessary to secure a cost-efficient integration of renewable energy sources.
LNG terminals enhance security of supply through source and route diversification and secure access to global and competitive (fossil and renewable) energy sources. They are also an energy flexibility provider. LNG can substitute more polluting fossil fuels, hence reducing CO2, NOx, SOx, noise and particulate matter emissions in maritime and road transport, power and heat generation (i.e. on remote locations not connected to the gas transmission system). LNG terminals can decarbonize by greening the gas upstream, by using low-carbon technologies downstream or can, for example, be the entry door to (imported) hydrogen-based energy carriers.
The gas and electricity systems complement each other. The flexibility and resilience provided by the gas system to the electricity system alleviate the stress of the power grid, significantly reduce investments needed and facilitate the integration of large-scale variable renewable energy. As a result, the gas system, which in the future will run on renewable and low carbon gases, is an enabler of system integration and the economic viability of renewable energy. New business models, support schemes and remuneration are needed to enable this. Renewable and low-carbon molecules will be a structural component of a secure and flexible energy system, in particular for the so- called “hard-to-electrify” sectors.
Based on this combination of gas assets, hydrogen and its derivatives will enhance a hybrid energy system by benefitting from possible synergies between the gas and electricity infrastructure (optimising electrical grid expansion through better utilisation of existing gas infrastructure) while providing flexibility services under different temporal and geographical dimensions (smoothing out price fluctuations and avoiding demand curtailment).
GIE believes that it is crucial to support the deployment of low-carbon and renewable hydrogen technologies, we are proud to present you the initiatives and key pilot projects developed by our members that contribute to establishing a climate neutral, stronger and more innovative European Union.
By Uniper Energy Storage GmbH Underground Gas Storage will play a key role to balance fluctuating renewable electricity production from wind and solar with demand peaks, in addition to its […]
The EU Hydrogen Strategy should encourage gas infrastructure operators to continue developing decarbonisation activities aimed at increasing the potential and actual quantities of hydrogen, in a way that does not distort market competition, complies with the applicable regulatory framework and secures third party access to maximise societal benefits.
To enhance the hydrogen market while increase the resilience and competitiveness of European companies, European gas infrastructure operators need: