Italy’s second largest natural gas pipeline operator, Società Gasdotti Italia (SGI), has announced in October, an ambitious plan to fully decarbonise the energy it supplies to both its commercial and retail domestic customers. In pursuit of this objective, Oslo-based energy consultancy DNV GL, has been commissioned to test the viability of switching SGIs 1,800 km of national transmission and regional distribution pipeline network, from natural gas to renewable gases, in particular hydrogen. By retaining DNV GL, SGI aims to gain an understanding of which sections of its network can safely transport blended mixtures of hydrogen and natural gas as early as the 2020s and whether, and by which time, it would be feasible to eliminate the use of natural gas by its existing network.
In fact, SGI’s decision to test a switch towards supplying hydrogen instead of natural gas to its customers, is in line with the country’s 2030 National Energy and Climate Plan, which envisages greater production and use of hydrogen. The switch towards hydrogen will undoubtedly increase the sustainability of SGI’s pipeline network and reduce environmental damage. In addition, this is just one step forward by Europe’s gas industry, towards meeting the European Union’s targets for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.