During the middle of this month eleven European long distance pipeline operators published a concept for the development of a European long distance pipeline network for hydrogen. In several big steps until 2040 the productions centers in the north and south of Europe will be connected with its main consumption areas. The eleven participants know each other out of the informal European Gas for Climate initiative presently chaired by Daniel Muthmann, Head of Corporate Development for Policy and Communication at Open Grid Europe (OGE). Energate met with Muthmann to discuss the concept of a European Hydrogen Network by 2040.
Muthmann states that the capacity for scaling the hydrogen expansion in Europe was missing, in other words, the capacity for adding revenue at a faster rate than taking on new costs. By raising key questions on hydrogen 1) where will substantial quantities of this most simplest of climate-neutral chemical elements come from? and 2) how can it be transported to the regions in Europe of greatest consumption?, Muthmann has helped focus the debate and brought Europe closer to its day of truly clean energy.
Muthmann says it's really nothing more than a matter of logistics: bringing the source of the hydrogen together with the market. To this end long distance pipelines will be critical to the unfolding of the strategy.
Muthmann's team has been able to demonstrate that the hydrogen transport costs are only a small part of the production costs, that it is technically possible to do and that the costs are not prohibitive. Momentarily these costs run from 0,09 to 0,17 Euro pro kg Hydrogen pro 1.000 km. Significantly this will show the European Commission that the Hydrogen market is a real, tangible and cost-efficient solution to Europe's energy needs.
Muthmann has been instrumental in creating what he calls a Hydrogen Backbone, in which pipeline operators, storage facility operators and future producers of Hydrogen meet to collectively work out the future deployment of the Hydrogen Network. On 17 July a Webinar took place in which around 500 participants were online to participate in the further development of the European Hydrogen Backbone. The interest is great, underpinning the premise that hydrogen will play a decisive role in the the continent's energy future.