On July 12, 2023, the transmission system operators published the planning status for a supraregional hydrogen core network by 2032.
This current planning status does not yet correspond to the final design of the hydrogen core network. The route variants presented will be evaluated and optimized in subsequent steps, taking into account reports received as part of the “opportunity to comment” from potential hydrogen network operators. The pipelines shown have a length of around 11,200 km. The TSOs expect the hydrogen core network to be smaller after optimization.
A total of 309 hydrogen projects were considered in the hydrogen core network scenario. The feed-in capacities for hydrogen total 101 GW. Other feeds include, in particular, imports via ship terminals where hydrogen transported in another form, such as LOHC or ammonia, is fed into the hydrogen grid as a gas. The core grid can provide 87 GW of exit power for hydrogen supply.
Opportunity for network operators to comment by July 28
Based on the published planning status for the hydrogen core network, operators of distribution networks, hydrogen network operators and operators of other pipeline infrastructures pursuant to § 28r para. 5 EnWG until July 28 to comment on and report further hydrogen infrastructures for the hydrogen core network. For the feedback to email@example.com, the TSOs have provided a corresponding form on the website of the TSO Gas. Subsequently, the reported pipeline infrastructures are checked for their use in the planning of the hydrogen core network by the transmission system operators and taken into account in the final modeling, provided that they meet the legal and technical requirements for integration into the hydrogen core network and the infrastructure is necessary for the transport requirements.
Opportunity for other stakeholders to comment to BMWK by July 28.
The amendment to the EnWG provides for the central hydrogen sources (generation and import) to be connected to the main consumption centers and hydrogen storage facilities via a Germany-wide hydrogen core network. As a basis for this, a scenario was developed under the leadership of the BMWK and the BNetzA and coordinated with the TSOs, within the framework of which the modeling of the hydrogen core network takes place. Based on the current planning status, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection is also giving states, associations and other stakeholders until July 28 to comment on the development of a Germany-wide, efficient, quickly realizable and expandable hydrogen core network. This gives stakeholders – where necessary and in line with Section 28r (4) EnWG-E and the scenario – the opportunity to present arguments for the inclusion of further pipeline infrastructures in the hydrogen core network. Comments may be submitted to the following BMWK email address: WASSERSTOFFKERNNETZ@bmwk.bund.de
Core network as starting point for future integrated hydrogen network planning
The hydrogen core network is the starting signal for the hydrogen ramp-up. It will cover the needs according to the criteria defined by law. Any additional requirements should be taken into account promptly in a second step as part of the future regulatory process for integrated network development planning for gas and hydrogen. The TSOs had already submitted corresponding proposals in this regard in September 2022 with the publication of the hydrogen report in accordance with Section 28p of the Energy Industry Act (EnWG), which were drawn up jointly with the distribution system operators, among others.
In an official FAQ, the BMWK has already addressed and answered initial questions about the core network. To answer your questions, FNB invite industry representatives from companies and associations to a virtual hydrogen lunch at Microsoft Teams on July 14, 2023 at 12:00 pm. Please log on to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will then be sent the dial-up data.
The hydrogen core network as the first expansion stage forms the basic framework of the future hydrogen infrastructure. Following this, the processes for integrated gas network planning (hydrogen and natural gas) must now be anchored in law as quickly as possible so that future requirements for hydrogen can be incorporated into further network planning. In its interim report pursuant to Section 112b(1) Sentence 2 EnWG(BT-Drucksache 20/7915) of July 27, the German government outlined initial proposals for a concept for the further development of the hydrogen network infrastructure.
A look back: From vision to mission
Since January 2020, the TSOs have been actively working on the development of the German hydrogen network. Many of the earlier considerations and experiences have been incorporated into the planning and design of the hydrogen core network. The most important milestones to date at a glance: