Germany is looking for the green hydrogen in the North Sea
Green hydrogen resources in the North Sea have attracted European attention in general, and German attention in particular, as Berlin continues its efforts to confront the energy crisis by benefiting from clean fuels and renewable energy sources, in cooperation with the European Union and others.
German gas transmission network operator Gascade and its Belgian counterpart, Fluxis, said they would build a pipeline to transport hydrogen from the North Sea, Balkan Green Energy News recently reported.
Germany intends to join the H2Med Transboundary Hydrogen project, with the aim of connecting the prospective pipeline to its borders, according to what was seen by the specialized energy platform.
Germany announced that it would participate in the construction of two more hydrogen pipelines, shortly after revealing plans with Norway to produce green hydrogen in the North Sea and transport it under the sea to feed future gas-fired power plants.
Germany’s gas transmission system network operator Gascade, and its Belgian counterpart Fluxis, have applied to the European Commission as part of the Aqua Ductus hydrogen pipeline project’s bid for Project of Common Interest (PCI) status.
The offshore pipeline will be more than 400 km long and aims to collect hydrogen from multiple production sites while providing the possibility of connecting to other international hydrogen flows through the North Sea, said Gascade Managing Director Christophe Vondem-Bosch.
The first step is to connect the hydrogen wind farm (SEN1) to streams, which will start in 2030.
Offshore wind farms in Germany’s exclusive economic zone, as well as hydrogen infrastructure operated by other North Sea countries, may be linked in subsequent years.
Gascade and Fluxes said that by 2035, the undersea pipeline will be able to transport about 1 million tons of hydrogen per year to Germany.
The first joint wind power and hydrogen production project is scheduled to be connected to the Aquaductus pipeline in 2030.
The companies said that studies identify up to 100 GW of green hydrogen production potential in the German and European North Seas, and that they have completed a feasibility study for the Aquaductus pipeline.
After a meeting last week between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, the other project for cooperation in hydrogen transportation was revealed.
The two countries pledged to collaborate on creating the European backbone of hydrogen transportation across Europe, including the necessary national and transnational hydrogen infrastructures.
In turn, Germany is working with Norway, France and Belgium to take advantage of the offshore wind and green hydrogen production potential in the North Sea.
The German chancellor and the French president announced that they would extend the proposed H2Med pipeline to Germany, and step up work to harness the potential of offshore winds to produce green hydrogen in the North Sea.
In a joint declaration, the leaders of the two governments committed to developing infrastructure for charging batteries and refueling with hydrogen, according to information monitored by the specialized energy platform.
Portugal, Spain and France officially announced the joint venture for the €2.5 billion ($2.72 billion) H2Med pipeline project last month.
This project aims to transport only two million tons of green hydrogen per year by 2030 from Barcelona to Marseille, and is expected to represent 10% of Europe’s hydrogen consumption when it reaches full capacity.
Moreover, green hydrogen production is a solution to storing excess energy from solar and wind power plants, and it still has a long way to go before it becomes profitable.
It should be noted that the hydrogen produced in recent times almost always comes from fossil fuels, and in order to be attributed to the green color, hydrogen must be produced using electricity from renewable sources, by separating the water in the electrolyzer into oxygen and hydrogen.
On the other hand, the term clean hydrogen is usually restricted to the result of electrolysis powered by carbon-neutral or near-neutral technology, including nuclear power.