Saxony-Anhalt, Germany will slowly see hydrogen introduced into its gas grid network this December (2021), as a result of a joint project being executed by E.ON subsidiary Avacon and the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW).
Part of a wider effort to showcase the role hydrogen can play in decarbonising the gas grid, the project will see a section of a medium-pressure distribution network, with a pipeline of approximately 35-kilometers, transport hydrogen blends.
The section of pipeline, which supplies approximately 350 customers, will see the injection of hydrogen planned over the two heating periods of 2021/22 and 2022/23 in stages of 10%, 15% and 20% hydrogen admixture.
At the end of this year (2021), 10% hydrogen is expected to be added to the natural gas. A 15% blending phase is planned for the first quarter of 2022 and, after an evaluation period, the targeted 20% concentration blend will be executed.
Dr Stephan Tenge, Chief Technology Officer at Avacon, said, “In our opinion, green hydrogen is indispensable on the way to a climate-neutral energy supply. With innovative projects like this one, we want to demonstrate that our grids can absorb green gas both efficiently and in relevant quantities. In this way, we are underlining the sustainable value of distribution grids as the key to a CO2-free energy supply.”
Already, in the first stage of the project, all gas appliances located in the home which will receive the hydrogen blends have been evaluated for both operational and safety aspects for hydrogen compatibility. Almost 100% of the surveyed appliances have been rated positively.
Prof. Dr. Gerald Linke, Chairman of the Board of DVGW, commented, “Our joint project is an important milestone in the use of hydrogen as an essential component for a successful energy transition.
“We are demonstrating in practice that the existing gas infrastructure, as well as the majority of applications, are fit for hydrogen and are an indispensable asset to lead Germany into a hydrogen economy and make it climate neutral.”