More than 90 players active in the energy market have signed a letter calling on the European Commission to recognise the role of hydrogen blending in existing natural gas networks.
Addressed to Frans Timmermans, Executive-Vice-President of the European Commission, the open letter says whilst the EU Hydrogen Strategy released in July 2020 outlines the Commission’s vision to deploy a European-wide hydrogen economy, the companies would like highlight further the importance of blending hydrogen in gas networks.
The existing gas transmission and distribution networks, together with the associated facilities connected to them, will be an essential enabling factor in delivering the decarbonisation of the European economy and the goals of the EU Hydrogen Strategy, the letter says.
“The retrofitting and repurposing of existing gas networks can be combined and complemented with the construction of new dedicated hydrogen infrastructure, so that three hydrogen deployment options can co-exist where needed,” it adds.
The letter also highlights the benefits of blending which include:
- Larger greenhouse gas reduction at a lower system cost
- Building up hydrogen production capacity and developing economies of scale that will foster a positive business case for the transition to a hydrogen system
- Enhancing system-wide resilience by integrating surplus intermittent renewable electricity, reducing power network congestion and providing short-term flexibility and energy storage
- Injecting hydrogen into gas transmission and distribution pipelines provides renewable and low-carbon energy to consumers currently connected to the gas network
- Granting market access, on a swift and cost-efficient manner, for decentralised hydrogen producers
It concludes, “The EU’s competitiveness and its lead in the hydrogen economy is at stake. In view of the upcoming legislative developments expected for 2021 and beyond, we are ready to further engage with the European Commission on the role of blending in the transition to an EU hydrogen ecosystem.”