Hydrogen Infrastructure

Departure into the hydrogen economy: TSOs present current planning status for the hydrogen core network as first step for the future hydrogen network

  • TSOs give potential hydrogen network operators the opportunity to comment and report further infrastructure for the hydrogen core network
  • Federal Ministry of Economics gives states, associations and other stakeholders opportunity to comment
  • TSOs expect prompt introduction of integrated network development planning for gas and hydrogen for further expansion stages of the hydrogen core network

Berlin, July 12, 2023. The German hydrogen core network as the first stage of the future hydrogen infrastructure is taking shape: With the planning status published today, the German transmission system operators (TSOs) present a first modeling result for the future supra-regional hydrogen core network by 2032. “The TSOs fully supports the German government’s goal of quickly and cost-effectively establishing a Germany-wide hydrogen infrastructure that enables market ramp-up and is embedded in the EU internal market. The planning status presented today is the first step. We are continuing to work at full speed to submit a joint draft for an optimized hydrogen core network to the Federal Network Agency by the fall“, says Barbara Fischer, FNB Gas managing director.

In May, the German government launched a draft amendment to the German Energy Industry Act (EnWG) that lays the regulatory, antitrust and network planning foundations for the development of an expandable hydrogen core network. The draft law is currently in the parliamentary process, which is expected to be completed by the fall.

A Germany-wide core network is the desired signal of departure for all players along the value chain. However, a key prerequisite is also the legal anchoring of a financing model that ensures marketable network charges and, at the same time, capital market-capable financing by the network operators“, emphasizes the Chairman of the Board of FNB Gas Dr. Thomas Gößmann.

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 info@fnb-gas.de, 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. In this regard, the TSOs had already submitted corresponding proposals in September 2022 with the publication of the hydrogen report in accordance with Section 28p EnWG, which were developed jointly with the distribution system operators, among others. “It is important that all market participants quickly receive clarity on when and how they can contribute their requirements for the further expansion stages of the hydrogen network. This creates planning and investment security” Gößmann concludes.

Further information

In an official FAQ, the BMWK has already addressed and answered initial questions about the core network. To answer your questions, the TSOs invite industry representatives from companies and associations to attend the Virtual Hydrogen Lunch at Microsoft Teams on July 14, 2023 at 12:00 pm. Please register at info@fnb-gas.de. You will receive the dial-in details afterwards.


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Planning status H2 core network map
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