A pre-feasibility study for a pipeline for green hydrogen between Germany and Denmark suggests gas pipelines between the countries could be repurposed to transmit energy originating from offshore windfarms
The study by Danish transmission system company Energinet and Gasunie Deutschland addressed the feasibility of a 350-450-km pipeline from Esbjerg or Holstebro in Denmark to Hamburg.
Having completed the study, Energinet and Gasunie want to initiate market dialogue and unlock the potential for exporting green hydrogen from Denmark to demand centres in Germany.
Denmark has an abundance of renewable energy sources, particularly offshore wind, which can be utilised to produce green hydrogen. However, for the time being, Danish demand for hydrogen is relatively limited.
In contrast, Germany has significant potential demand for hydrogen for use in the steel and chemical industries. Demand there exceed targets for renewable hydrogen production. As a result, Germany will need to import large amounts of hydrogen.
The study suggests that, using a stepwise approach, the capacity of a hydrogen pipeline from Denmark could grow in response to developing demand in Germany.
Importantly, the study also suggests the first stage of the pipeline network could be realised without the need for gas compression, which would add significantly to the costs.
“Building a network without compressors would reduce upfront investment and operational costs,” said Energinet, noting that because 50-60% of the pipeline network could be realised by repurposing existing gas pipelines, further significant cost savings would result.
“Depending on how much hydrogen is exported from Denmark to Germany, the transport of hydrogen via a dedicated network could be a cost-efficient solution,” Energinet said. According to the German Network Development Plan, Hamburg could be connected to a southbound hydrogen network by 2025.
Gasunie Deutschland chief executive Jens Schuman said, “Our analysis indicates that 10-25% of future German hydrogen demand could be met by a pipeline between Denmark and Germany.” He said the connection from Denmark is an potentially important element of HyPerLink, a hydrogen backbone Gasunie is developing in northern Germany.
Energinet Gas TSO chief executive Torben Brabo said, “Hydrogen infrastructure between Denmark and Germany will happen if the market demands it. We see good prospects for a connection to Germany, although there are still many questions are left unanswered, which merit further analysis.”
Energinet and Gasunie will hold a webinar to help gauge the response of the market on 25 May 2021.
Riviera Maritime Media’s Offshore Energy Webinar Week is being held 14 June 2021 – use this link for more details and to register