In Europe for distances of up to around 10,000 km, hydrogen transport in pipelines is the most economical option. The “European Hydrogen Backbone” (EHB) study states specific transportation prices of approx. 0.16 €/kg per 1,000 km, with pipelines almost fully utilised.
These prices are based on a significant proportion of converted natural gas pipelines in the planned system. The use of already existing pipelines reduces system costs, accelerates realisation, avoids environmental interventions and thus also contributes to an increase in social acceptance.
A assessment by TÜV Nord says, the use of existing natural gas pipelines for the safe transport of hydrogen is principally feasible. Corresponding to this a conversion from natural gas to hydrogen has already been demonstrated in the south-west of the Netherlands.
Thanks to the physical properties, the high energy transport capacity known from natural gas transport of approx. 8–10 times the capacity of the transmission of electricity can be realised as well when transporting hydrogen in pipelines.
The planning process for the network development for natural gas provides a good basis for achieving efficient and transparent planning of the future hydrogen network and is now being further developed for hydrogen.