The energy transition can be compared to a marathon instead of a sprint. As the costs of photovoltaic cells and wind turbines have significantly decreased, decarbonizing the economy has become attainable. The wealthier countries of northern Europe are, arguably, some of the most ambitious societies when it comes to the energy transition. Germany, especially, is an important country due to the size of its economy, political influence in Europe, and technological prowess.
Hydrogen is an essential part of the strategy to become carbon neutral by 2050. The characteristics of the Universe’s smallest and most abundant particle make it highly suitable to become an important part of future energy systems. H2 can be used in the transportation sector as an energy carrier in fuel cells as well as burned in combustion engines. Also, hydrogen produces the much needed high temperatures for the industry to phase out natural gas.
Therefore, the German authorities are investing tremendous energy in a H2 strategy. Recently, German pipeline operators unveiled plans for the world’s largest hydrogen network. Until 2030 approximately 1,100 km, or 745 miles, of former natural gas pipelines will be converted to make it suitable for hydrogen. Also, 100 km of new pipelines will be laid which in total will cost €660 million. The network will link 31 hydrogen production projects with consumers in Germany’s most populous states North Rhine Westphalia and Lower Saxony.