Gasunie To Bring Hydrogen To Shore With North Sea Pipeline Network
Dutch gas grid operator Gasunie will oversee development of a hydrogen network in the North Sea, noted the Netherlands Energy Minister Rob Jetten in a letter to parliament.
Part of the ambitious project is the conversion of much of the Netherlands' natural gas network to hydrogen over the coming decade.
The natural gas grid can be re-purposed to carry hydrogen relatively cheaply compared to new built pipelines or grid enlargement. Furthermore, these ports are particularly well placed to become one of the main routes for hydrogen imports into Europe, which are likely required to achieve the continent’s net-zero ambitions by 2050.
The country has plans to add more than 1 GW of offshore wind capacity annually for many years, reaching 20 GW by 2030.
"I think the first larger pilots and projects could be operational in 2028 or 2029," said Werna Udding, who is responsible for offshore hydrogen at Gasunie. "Preparations for that need to start right now. That means we also need to get started soon with the development of the offshore hydrogen network so that it is ready in time to bring the hydrogen produced at sea ashore."
"After 2030, a significant share of energy from wind parks will be transformed into hydrogen and brought to shore with pipelines, because over these long distances transport of hydrogen is more efficient than transporting electricity," Jetten said in the letter.
Jetten cited figures of 783.5 million euros as being available for a second round of hydrogen projects and another 794 million euros for third and fourth rounds, including for hydrogen import projects.
"The division of these resources among concrete projects will be made known in 2023," he said.