The transmission system operators welcome the declared goal of the coalition partners to make hydrogen an essential building block of the energy transition and to initiate the necessary steps to this end. As announced in the coalition agreement, this includes creating the necessary framework conditions, including efficiently designed funding programs, for the committed development of the hydrogen infrastructure, as well as accelerating the planning and approval processes for faster realization of hydrogen networks. “We can fully endorse the coalition partners’ clear commitment to ‘electricity and hydrogen networks as the backbone of the energy system’,” makes Inga Posch, FNB Gas Managing Director, clear.
The TSOs also welcome the target of building around 10 gigawatts of electrolysis capacity in 2030. “It is likely, however, that green hydrogen will initially not be sufficient to meet the demand that will exist by then and to achieve a rapid and affordable market ramp-up. For this purpose, the use of blue hydrogen will also be necessary in a transitional period. The coalition partners should keep their word here and make the framework conditions for hydrogen open to all technologies in order to achieve the common goal of building a hydrogen economy,” explains Dr. Thomas Gößmann, Chairman of the Board of FNB Gas. “Technology openness is also central to using the existing gas infrastructure not only for hydrogen but also for other climate-neutral gases such as biogas or synthetic methane – for additional and quickly implementable CO2 reduction across all sectors.”
The FNBs also take a fundamentally positive view of the fact that the use of hydrogen is not to be limited to certain fields of application and that the decarbonization of the heating market can thus also be achieved quickly and in a socially acceptable manner through the use of hydrogen. Like the coalition members, the FNB believes that open technology support for climate-neutral hydrogen is also necessary in this area. Climate-neutral molecules and the networks available for transport are essential for the heat transition.
“At the same time, the coalition members are demonstrating a sense of reality on the subject of natural gas by recognizing this energy source as indispensable for a transitional period. The need to build modern gas-fired power plants in the near future to maintain security of supply, which can later be converted to hydrogen, is correctly considered by the coalition partners to be indispensable,” Inga Posch continued.
But it is not only true for power plants: the H2 readiness of the gas infrastructure is a potential for the development of the hydrogen economy that should definitely be used and promoted. The coalition partners’ commitment to continue creating attractive investment conditions for the provision of capital for network infrastructure in comparison with the rest of Europe is a step in the right direction. In this respect, the TSOs are in favor of joint regulation and network planning for gas and hydrogen and appeal to the coalition partners to also support this in Brussels during the upcoming negotiations on the new internal gas market package.