Consisting of 31 gas companies across Europe, the EHB initiative will create a backbone to transport the clean energy carrier across pipelines from production to end-users.
This could provide a means to scale up hydrogen adoption on the continent and help companies reduce their carbon emissions.
Originally unveiled in July 2020 by 11 European gas infrastructure companies from nine EU members states, the European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) has now expanded to nearly 40,000km covering 11 new countries, with 31 European gas TSOs joining the EHB initiative.
Daniel Muthmann, Chairman of European Hydrogen Backbone, said, “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.”
Pawel Stanczak, Deputy General Director for Development and Transformation for the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine, said, “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.”
One of the most crucial aspects in building the hydrogen economy is ensuring a solid infrastructure is in place. In Europe, where hydrogen could be transported across the continent at cost-competitive prices, it is crucial to have the required infrastructure to carry hydrogen to companies and industries that need it most.
As revealed by Wang, repurposing the existing gas pipelines across Europe could create cost competitive hydrogen across the continent. This interconnects countries with vast renewable energy generation potential with other countries with less potential to create a system that allows cheap hydrogen to be transported in the most cost-efficient way across Europe.
“Without a pan-European infrastructure, you would get these disconnected decentralised clusters, each running their own thing. Say you can produce renewable hydrogen at €2 per kg in Spain. But in Germany, if you want to get it from an onshore wind farm, it’s like €5 per kg. Then the German market would be losing out on what they could be getting,” Wang told H2 View.
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