The Utility of Pipelines in Europe's Unfolding Hydrogen Strategy

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The Utility of Pipelines in Europe's Unfolding Hydrogen Strategy

Mon, 08/08/2022 - 14:16
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Flag of Greece (© Shutterstock/akedesign)
Flag of Greece (© Shutterstock/akedesign)

By virtue of its geographic position, significant sunny days and abundant wind, Greece is being seen as the new hub for hydrogen in Europe.  

Indeed, since the announcement of the WhiteDragon project in Western Macedonia, [White Dragon is set to replace Greece’s largest coal-fired plants, with renewable solar energy parks, which will be supported by green hydrogen production (4.65GW), and fuel cell heat and power production (400MW)], Greece has been on the European map of hydrogen projects

The projects are part of the “Hydrogen Technologies” IPCEI and will now move towards approval at European Union (“EU”) level. The Greek government was actively involved and achieved great success in July when two projects within the framework of the so-called ipcei (important projects of common European interest) were recognized by the European Commission in the first phase.

Saudi Arabia and North Africa will play a critical role by exporting to the EU massive amounts of hydrogen. The first projects in this regard have already been launched in the Kingdom.  In the north-west of the country, a region the size of Belgium has been declared an exclusive renewable and hydrogen zone, called NEOM. Significant production volumes are expected here as of 2024, and large-scale production of renewable hydrogen will begin in 2026

The outlook for the future hydrogen economy is encouraging. However, the corresponding infrastructure must be adapted or rebuilt. Hydrogen is a gas and is best transported via pipelines. It is the cheapest way to send large volumes over long distances. The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) pipeline already planned will play a special role in Europe's hydrogen strategy, as Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently made clear in Azerbaijan.

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