Gasunie Applies for PCI for North Sea Hydrogen Network

Dutch natural gas transmission system operator Gasunie has applied to the European Commission for the status of Project of Common Interest (PCI) for the hydrogen network in the German part of the North Sea.

Gasunie said in a press release that the application “is part of the international partnership Clean Hydrogen for Europe in which it works together to realize the entire hydrogen chain for production, transport and storage.”

PCIs are a category of projects that the commission identify as a key priority for interconnecting the European Union’s energy infrastructure system, and are eligible for public funding.

Germany is seeking to produce renewable hydrogen from offshore wind farms in its section of the North Sea, with the hydrogen network also set to connect with the Dutch equivalent so that the two regions can transport hydrogen freely.

The intention is to have the German North Sea operation up and running by 2030, however, the German SEN-1 wind farm with a capacity of 425MW is due to be launched later this year. The wind farm is the first to be co-located with electrolysers in the German North Sea, with projected hydrogen production capacity of 1GW. The electrolysers will utilise power from the SEN-1 wind farm as well as additional offshore wind farms due to be connected in the future, such as SEN-2.

Germany announced in its National Hydrogen Strategy that hydrogen demand would reach 90-110TWh by 2030, of which about 14TWh was due to be produced domestically with the remainder set to be imported either via pipelines or via the seaborne market.

The North Sea is being viewed as a large potential area for hydrogen production, with offshore wind turbines producing hydrogen that could be either shipped directly to shore through repurposed pipelines or stored in underground caverns (old oil and/or gas fields) before being moved.

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