Germany, Norway need to tie the knot with new hydrogen pipeline –


Constructing on their long-lasting relationship as fossil vitality provider and purchaser, Germany and Norway have agreed to a “inexperienced” partnership, which can doubtless relaxation on an formidable challenge – one in every of Europe’s first hydrogen pipelines.

German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck started his 2023 with a go to to Oslo, marking his second official journey in as a few years – an uncommon frequency for a typical German minister.

On the event of Habeck’s final go to in March 2021, guaranteeing Germany’s fuel provide was precedence primary. Now, the 2 nations’ future partnership is on the coronary heart of his efforts.

Norway and Germany agreed to determine a “Strategic Partnership on Local weather Renewable Power and Inexperienced Trade”, defined Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre on 5 January, “aiming to create new inexperienced industries and jobs”.

This may be embedded by means of efforts to forge an intra-EU alliance and “embody nearer cooperation on hydrogen, offshore wind, batteries, carbon seize and storage, inexperienced transport, microelectronics and uncooked supplies”.

However for Germany, gases, each to burn and to be used as a feedstock, have been precedence primary.

“Norway is our most vital vitality provider immediately and will stay so on the best way to a climate-neutral future,” defined Habeck on Thursday (5 January).

“Right now we get most of our pure fuel from Norway, sooner or later we need to more and more import offshore wind vitality and hydrogen,” the German vice-chancellor careworn. 

Initially, this could be within the type of hydrogen produced utilizing pure fuel, the place the emissions are sequestered and saved, he added. It’s then referred to as “blue” hydrogen. If renewable electrical energy is used as a substitute, it’s emissions-free and regarded “inexperienced”.

“To realize this, we now have to work collectively to construct a European grid and hydrogen infrastructure and increase manufacturing,” the German minister famous.

Berlin woos key fuel provider Norway

Germany’s financial system and local weather minister Robert Habeck is travelling to Oslo on Wednesday (16 March) to cement the nation’s vitality partnership with Norway and maximise fuel provides to the continent, together with the potential of “blue” hydrogen constructed from fossil fuels.

Hydrogen pipeline

A hydrogen pipeline between Germany and Norway, the most cost effective approach of transporting the elusive fuel throughout lengthy distances, was first tentatively envisioned throughout Habeck’s first go to in March 2021. 

The 2 sides then agreed to conduct a feasibility research, with outcomes to be launched in Spring 2023. However, because the research ought to be ongoing, the consequence seems to be politically determined.

“Hydrogen, from my perspective, ought to be pipeline certain, as a result of this provides us higher costs, and the safety that we keep within the partnership,” careworn Habeck in Oslo.

Beginning on the fuel fields within the Norwegian Sea, the pipeline would move offshore wind farms after which funnel the hydrogen onto the mainland in German Frisia. It will then be distributed right into a yet-to-be-constructed German hydrogen pipeline grid.

“Our joint understanding is that large-scale transport of hydrogen between Norway, Germany and the EU will relaxation on a strong technical and monetary foundation,” the 2 events state.

The identical day, a number of the two nations’ foremost vitality corporations signed a memorandum of understanding to collectively develop large-scale vitality worth chains, together with a hydrogen pipeline.

And Habeck seems satisfied {that a} pipeline, which might be one in every of Europe’s longest, is an efficient dedication machine.

”We keep collectively in the identical infrastructure and initiatives,” he mentioned, including that “nobody must be afraid” that their associate is wanting elsewhere for vitality suppliers or consumers.

To today, Europe’s longest community of hydrogen pipes is Belgium-based, some 900 kilometres lengthy, and operated by Air Liquide to produce the chemical trade. But, their community is much from being one steady pipe, however as a substitute kinds one thing akin to a spider internet.

An estimate by EURACTIV would put the brand new Germany-Norway pipeline at some 750 kilometres, as soon as accomplished. Relying on the routing, it might unseat the present frontrunner.

[Edited by Nathalie Weatherald]

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