Gas Networks Ireland is participating in a major European project to help the European Union meet its new accelerated goals and radically increase the use of hydrogen by 2030.
The European Hydrogen Backbone initiative is focused on planning for the future development of a European hydrogen market through new pan-European hydrogen transport infrastructure.
Five large-scale hydrogen pipeline corridors are envisaged. These new corridors will initially connect domestic local hydrogen supply and demand in Europe, before expanding and connecting European regions amongst each other, and then connecting neighbouring regions with hydrogen export potential.
The planned hydrogen backbone network will largely be based on repurposing existing natural gas infrastructure. It is envisaged that by 2040, for example, Ireland could be connected to the new European hydrogen backbone via a repurposed subsea pipeline to the Moffat interconnector in Scotland.
Being connected directly to the new European Hydrogen Backbone will provide enhanced security of supply for Ireland and will also enable Ireland to maximise its renewable energy production, as it will offer the potential of hydrogen exports to other markets.
Hydrogen is a carbon-free gas that can be made from renewable electricity through a process known as electrolysis and stored until needed, making it an attractive option to decarbonise the Irish and EU energy systems and a strong example of how greater integration between Ireland’s gas and electricity networks can support a low carbon economy.
Gas Networks Ireland’s Director of Customer and Business Development, David Kelly, said hydrogen will be critical to Ireland achieving its 2050 climate action targets.
The European Hydrogen Backbone Initiative will play a major role in the development of a hydrogen network in European, and Gas Networks Ireland is delighted to be playing its role in planning for that future.