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Energinet and Gasunie strengthen collaboration on hydrogen infrastructure

Published 1.9.2022 10.15
To accelerate the preparations for cross-border hydrogen infrastructure between Denmark and Germany, Søren Dupont Kristensen, CEO of Energinet System Operator, and Jens Schuman, CEO of Gasunie Deutschland, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The preparation outlined in the MoU includes a coordinated approach towards network development planning based on the results of the prefeasibility-study and the latest market developments in both supply and demand. Energinet and Gasunie will also analyze and outline the crucial decision gates on the way towards reaching final investment decisions.
 
- Hydrogen infrastructure enables us to fully utilize and export some of the vast renewable energy resources in Denmark and to deliver on the Esbjerg declaration. In Energinet we already sense a strong market interest in being able to supply the German hydrogen market with green hydrogen produced in Denmark – and the ambition is to realize this before 2030. A lot must fall in place before then, so I am very happy that we are now committed to speed up the preparatory efforts and through that support the European energy security”, Søren Dupont Kristensen says.  


In May 2022 Germany, Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands set a joint target to deliver at least 65 GW offshore wind power by 2030 and to increase capacity to at least 150 GW by 2050. In conjunction with the so-called Esbjerg declaration, the Danish and German Governments concluded a Letter of Intent (LoI) on strengthened collaboration on green hydrogen including looking into a potential pipeline for hydrogen export from Denmark to Germany.

- The strategic value of intensified hydrogen cooperation between Denmark and Germany lies in the well-developed, high-performance infrastructure that already connects the two neighboring countries. This gives us direct access to Danish green hydrogen sources - without conversion to intermediate energy carriers such as ammonia”, emphasizes Gasunie Deutschland CEO Jens Schumann.  

Last year Energinet and Gasunie Deutschland conducted a techno-economic pre-feasibility-study, which showed that Denmark could potentially supply 10-25 % of the future German hydrogen demand trough this pipeline. Since then, ambitious political agreements on Power-to-X and massive build out of renewable energy have been reached in the Danish parliament. Consequently, Energinet has launched a study that investigates the feasibility of a “hydrogen backbone” in the western part of Denmark including infrastructure for exports to Germany.   

Energinet and Gasunie have a long and good cooperation. Over decades, gas has been transported back and forth between Denmark and Germany in different ways - it started with exports from Germany to Denmark, followed by a longer time of exports from Denmark to Germany and in recent years again with exports to Denmark. It is expected that large parts of the ”hydrogen backbone” between the two countries could be based on converting existing gas transmission pipelines.   

In both countries the development of the regulatory framework is an ongoing process. As it is still undecided who will become hydrogen network operator(s), Energinet and Gasunie has signed the MoU in the interest of the future Danish and German hydrogen network operator(s).
 

The potential hydrogen connection between Denmark and Germany is illustrated in the European Hydrogen Backbone vision for 2030