Germany Hydrogen Grid Infrastructure Development
Hydrogen technology will be a major component of Germany´s planned transition to a net-zero carbon economy by 2045.
Hydrogen will play a key role in the German energy transition (Energiewende) to help the country reach its climate protection targets. According to a 2019 study by Fraunhofer, greenhouse gas neutrality in all German sectors can only be achieved through targeted sector coupling, with electrolysis being a central process.
The German National Hydrogen Strategy outlines a plan to develop a domestic market for hydrogen in Germany, make it a sustainable base material for industry, and enhance the transportation and distribution infrastructure. The goal is international hydrogen cooperation as a collaborative European project. Germany will need to import most of its (green) hydrogen.
Germany’s demand for hydrogen is projected to increase sharply over the next decades, in parallel to required electrolysis capacity. Current hydrogen production in Germany is 57 terawatt hours (TWh) and is based almost entirely on fossil fuels. In 2030, the first relevant demand volumes for green hydrogen and derivatives of up to 80 TWh are expected. This demand should grow to 100 to 300 TWh in 2040 and reach about 400 to nearly 800 TWh by 2050.
At present, Germany does not have a nationwide hydrogen grid infrastructure. There are three regional clusters where an infrastructure has been developed as non-public supply network. These are the Unterelbe/Weser/Ems cluster, the Ruhrgebiet cluster, and the Mitteldeutschland/Berlin/ Brandenburg cluster. In the Ruhr region, Germany´s longest hydrogen pipeline (240 km) is operated by Air Liquide. Linde operates pipelines with a total length of 150 km in the so-called Middle German Chemical Triangle. In Schleswig-Holstein, a 30 km pipeline runs from Heide to the Chemcoast Park in Brunsbüttel.
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