Italian energy infrastructure company Snam has doubled the volume of hydrogen it is blending with natural gas in the gas transmission network in Southern Italy as part of an experiment.
The experiment was launched in April 2019 and introduced a blend of 5% hydrogen into the gas network in Contursi Terme, Salerno, to two industrial companies in the area: a pasta factory and a mineral water bottling company.
Last month, Snam doubled this volume to 10%. Applying a proportion of 10% of hydrogen to the total gas transported annually by Snam, seven billion cubic meters could be injected into the network each year, equivalent to the annual consumption of three million households.
This would enable the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by five million tonnes.
In Italy, hydrogen has excellent development prospects thanks to considerable natural potential for producing solar and wind power and the extensive gas infrastructure.
According to a Snam-McKinsey study, hydrogen could meet almost a quarter (23%) of national energy demand by 2050 in a 95% decarbonisation scenario, which would be necessary to reach the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 °, more than the current combined market share of electricity generated from renewable and fossil sources (20% in 2018).
This growth could be made possible through the progressive, consolidated decrease in the cost of producing renewable solar and wind electricity, and a reduction in the cost of electrolysers, caused by the large-scale production of green hydrogen.
Snam has recently set up a business unit dedicated to hydrogen and is engaged in research and development in the sector. On an international level, the company is part of the Hydrogen Council.