February 26. 2024. 6:10

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Germany, Denmark want hydrogen pipeline by 2028

Copenhagen and Berlin want a land-based hydrogen pipeline in place across the two countries’ joint borders by 2028, which would make it easier for Germany to import large volumes of hydrogen to fuel its industry.

Hydrogen, a gas that does not emit greenhouse gases when burned, is commonly used in industry, with steelmakers, in particular, expected to increase their demand.

By 2030, German industry is expected to consume upwards of 90 TWh of the gas, up from the 60 TWh of dirty hydrogen today. Berlin expects that much of that should come from Denmark.

Germany and Denmark want to “cooperate more closely in the future on the development of a European hydrogen infrastructure,” German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck said on Friday (24 March), following his visit to Denmark to meet the new government.

Along with general coordination on industrial development and energy, the two agreed “a joint work plan for the ramp-up of a German-Danish hydrogen infrastructure,” Habeck said.

In a non-binding joint agreement, the two countries “remark” the symmetry between the Danish hydrogen production target of upwards of 20 TWh, from targeted electrolyser capacities of 4-6 GW, and the German demand.

“The Participants commit to support the realisation of a hydrogen interconnector between Denmark and the Federal Republic of Germany,” the agreement, signed on Friday, reads.

The two partners agreed to apply for EU funding, like the “Connecting Europe Facility” and to work together on national and EU hydrogen legislation so as not to stymie the project accidentally.

Denmark has welcomed the push from Berlin. “A big thank you to Germany when it comes to questions of energy and climate,” Danish energy minister Lars Aagaard said at a joint press conference.

The length of the pipeline is unclear, but it will cross the German-Danish border on land, near the town of Flensburg, likely eventually leading to the industrial clusters of Kiel and Hamburg.

How much hydrogen will be delivered through the pipeline, however, is unclear.

Habeck estimates demand to be high. “From my part, I can say the bigger the better. The bigger the capacity, the better it is,” he said, Montel reported.

It is already the second hydrogen pipeline planned, following plans to construct an underwater pipeline between Norway and Germany.

Germany, Norway want to tie the knot with new hydrogen pipeline

Building on their long-lasting relationship as fossil energy supplier and buyer, Germany and Norway have agreed to a “green” partnership, which will likely rest on an ambitious project – one of Europe’s first hydrogen pipelines.

Habeck’s region stands to benefit

A reason for this new push is the two countries’ joint ambition to make their shared border region a green industry champion.

Deepening energy cooperation meant “making the common border region in Southern Jutland a pioneer region within the green industrial transition,” said the Danish Economy Ministry in a statement.

Habeck’s election district is located right in the middle of that “pioneer region.” The green politician was elected by the people of Flensburg-Schwesig, receiving 28% of the vote in 2021.

The region keenly eyes the economic opportunities that may arise from this venture.

“Of course, as direct neighbours, Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark are connected in a completely different way again,” Habeck told SHZ when asked.

European Investment Bank may finance Iberian gas pipeline

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is willing to finance the future green hydrogen pipeline connecting Portugal, Spain and France if it meets eligibility criteria, EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix told Lusa in an interview, noting that the bank has launched exploratory talks with Portugal.