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Thema: H2 Network

Draft of the 2032 hydrogen core network

The hydrogen core network will be built up successively until 2032, starting with the first pipeline conversion in 2025. The diagram shows the planned commissioning of the expansion stage of the core network in 2032.

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Draft of the 2031 hydrogen core network

The hydrogen core network will be built up successively until 2032, starting with the first pipeline conversion in 2025. The diagram shows the planned commissioning of the expansion stage of the core network in 2031.

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Draft of the 2030 hydrogen core network

The hydrogen core network will be built up successively until 2032, starting with the first pipeline conversion in 2025. The diagram shows the planned commissioning of the expansion stage of the core network in 2030.

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Draft of the 2029 hydrogen core network

The hydrogen core network will be built up successively until 2032, starting with the first pipeline conversion in 2025. The diagram shows the planned commissioning of the expansion stage of the core network in 2029.

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Draft of the 2028 hydrogen core network

The hydrogen core network will be built up successively until 2032, starting with the first pipeline conversion in 2025. The diagram shows the planned commissioning of the expansion stage of the core network in 2028.

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Draft of the 2027 hydrogen core network

The hydrogen core network will be built up successively until 2032, starting with the first pipeline conversion in 2025. The diagram shows the planned commissioning of the expansion stage of the core network in 2027.

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Draft of the 2026 hydrogen core network

The hydrogen core network will be built up successively until 2032, starting with the first pipeline conversion in 2025. The diagram shows the planned commissioning of the expansion stage of the core network in 2026.

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Draft of the 2025 hydrogen core network

The hydrogen core network will be built up successively until 2032, starting with the first pipeline conversion in 2025. The diagram shows the planned commissioning of the expansion stage of the core network in 2025.

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Development of the hydrogen core network

The hydrogen core network will be built up successively until 2032, starting with the first pipeline conversion in 2025. The chart shows the annual expansion stages of the hydrogen core network.

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Design for the hydrogen core network (without logo)

In recent weeks, the transmission system operators (TSOs) have been working flat out on the final modeling of the hydrogen core network and its optimization. The total length of the optimized core network is around 9,700 km. Of this, 710 km is accounted for by pipelines from 17 other potential hydrogen network operators, which the TSOs received as part of the opportunity to comment on the first planning status by 28.7.2023. The core network consists mainly of converted natural gas pipelines (approx. 60%). The investment costs amount to €19.8 billion. The feed-in and feed-out capacities amount to around 100 GW and 87 GW respectively.

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Design for the hydrogen core network (with logo)

In recent weeks, the transmission system operators (TSOs) have been working flat out on the final modeling of the hydrogen core network and its optimization. The total length of the optimized core network is around 9,700 km. Of this, 710 km is accounted for by pipelines from 17 other potential hydrogen network operators, which the TSOs received as part of the opportunity to comment on the first planning status by 28.7.2023. The core network consists mainly of converted natural gas pipelines (approx. 60%). The investment costs amount to €19.8 billion. The feed-in and feed-out capacities amount to around 100 GW and 87 GW respectively.

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Explanatory film: How FNB Gas plans the hydrogen network

In order to develop the hydrogen network from the existing natural gas infrastructure, the planning must be all of a piece. Why this is so and how it works, we explain in this video.


Explanatory video: How hydrogen reaches the customer

To connect H2 generation sites with consumption sites, Germany needs a supraregional hydrogen network with connections to neighboring countries. Compared with new construction, it is cheaper, more resource-efficient and faster to develop the hydrogen network from the existing natural gas network. Where natural gas flows today, hydrogen may flow tomorrow. In our new series of explanatory films, we show how the conversion of the gas transport infrastructure to hydrogen works and what benefits it brings.

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Planning status of hydrogen core network as of July 12, 2023 (without feed-in and feed-out)

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.

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Planning status of hydrogen core network as of July 12, 2023 (with feed-in and feed-out).

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.

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Video statement by Barbara Fischer, Head of Policy, Communications and Strategy, on the occasion of the conclusion of the Chemistry4Climate initiative.

The final report published on April 27, 2023, marks the conclusion of the Chemistry4Climate (C4C) project launched by the Association of German Engineers (VDI) and the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI).

Together with over 80 stakeholders from industry, politics and civil society, FNB Gas has been involved in the search for ways and solutions to make the chemical-pharmaceutical industry in Germany climate neutral. As a result, the experts formulated conclusions and recommendations on a total of six topics and 33 theses.

The final report is available on the Chemistry4Climate homepage.


Joint webinar: Hydrogen network planning at FNB and VNB level.

On October 25, 2022, a joint webinar was held by FNB Gas with DVGW, VKU, and the “H2vorOrt” initiative. More than 350 interested representatives from politics and authorities, the energy sector as well as business and industry took part in the virtual event. The great response shows that hydrogen is not only essential for the survival of industry, but that interest and demand also exist on a large scale in many other sectors.

The network operators are in the starting blocks. The task of policymakers now is to break down logjams and translate the proposals into a consistent regulatory framework. The webinar ends with a joint appeal to politicians: “The industry is ready. Now we need political action”.


Video statement from FNB Gas Chairman of the Board Dr Thomas Gößmann on the publication of the Hydrogen Report

Germany must accelerate the ramp-up of hydrogen in order to secure supplies and promote climate protection. The hydrogen report submitted by the transmission system operators on September 1, 2022, in accordance with Section 28q of the German Energy Act (EnWG) shows how the necessary transport infrastructure can be built efficiently, quickly, and in a targeted manner by integrating hydrogen network planning into the proven gas network planning.


WEB messages on the expected hydrogen demand in the distribution network

As part of the Hydrogen Generation and Demand (WEB) market survey, numerous distribution system operators also submitted demand reports. This clearly shows that entire regions must be developed with an efficient hydrogen infrastructure at an early stage and on a large scale in order to be able to ensure the supply of a large number of customers via the distribution networks.

The reports submitted by distribution system operators in the NEP Gas 2022-2032 result in a withdrawal volume of 54 TWh for the year 2032. The further increase in volumes in the following years underscores the significant demand for hydrogen in the distribution network and the efforts of distribution network operators to contribute to climate protection in the long term.


Interdependencies in the conversion from natural gas to hydrogen

Similar to the L-/H-gas conversion, the conversion of network areas from natural gas to hydrogen involves interdependence between the parties involved.

Efficient conversion of an area along a transmission system operator’s line in terms of network expansion can only be ensured if all connected customers (distribution system operators or industrial customers connected to the transmission system) can convert to hydrogen in the same period of time. This is the only way to avoid economically inefficient, parallel hydrogen or methane pipelines, which may only be needed temporarily until all consumers along a pipeline have been completely converted.

In the regular process, the resolution of the above dependency takes place through the formation of cross-network operator, area-related working groups (also within the framework of the respective GTP creation) as well as through the conclusion of multilateral changeover schedules in which all mutual dependencies between the participants are assessed. This procedure has already proven useful for the L/H gas conversion and has thus been tested in practice.


Possible process from hydrogen demand notification to hydrogen conversion roadmap.

The basis for planning the conversion of pipelines to hydrogen by the transmission system operators is initially the specific demand reports from various demand carriers (distribution system operators or industrial customers directly connected to the transmission system). These demand reports were secured via Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the NEP Gas 2022-2032 before they were included in the modeling of the transmission system operators in the NEP Gas process. For the demand reports of the distribution system operators, the transmission system operators first carry out a so-called hydrogen test in the current NEP gas cycle. In the future, the hydrogen testing process will be replaced as soon as demand notifications with a higher level of commitment are received or corresponding MoUs are concluded between transmission system operators and demand carriers. The conversion to hydrogen is made finally binding by the conclusion of a conversion schedule between the transmission system operator and the consumer.

The conversion roadmap defines the points at which a supply of hydrogen can be guaranteed by a defined deadline. The technical lead time for conversion to hydrogen is significantly longer than for conversion from L-gas to H-gas. In this respect, it can be assumed that conversion schedules between the transmission system operator and the demand side would also have to be concluded with a significantly longer lead time than is usual in comparison with the L/H gas conversion (there, at the latest 2 years and 8 months according to the Gas Cooperation Agreement). In this respect, the entire process, starting with the first demand reports and building on this, the agreement of MoUs must also be started much earlier.


Sequence of the conversion to hydrogen at the end customer (private household)

The federal government is working to ensure that, as far as possible, every new heating system will be powered by at least 65% renewable energy (on balance sheet or physical) from 2024 [BMWK 2022]. This includes all renewable energies, i.e. also green and climate-neutral gaseous energy sources such as biomethane or green hydrogen. However, for all decarbonization options to be fully exploited, a technology-open approach is needed that takes into account all climate-neutral gases such as blue hydrogen.

Market space conversion to hydrogen is not feasible until as many gas appliances as possible have been installed that can run on natural gas and biomethane as well as hydrogen. From 2025 at the latest, the manufacturers organized in the Federal Association of the German Heating Industry (BDH) will be launching series devices on the market that can initially be set to methane or methane-hydrogen mixtures and converted to a hydrogen device by an installer with little effort by means of a conversion kit. By installing these hydrogen-capable appliances, the customer creates the conditions for a climate-neutral heat supply, enabling him to meet the 65% renewable energy target initially via the balance sheet purchase and later via the physical purchase of hydrogen.


The path to climate neutrality on site

Each distribution network in Germany has its own regional characteristics. For climate neutrality to be achieved locally, these specifics must always be taken into account. Therefore, after the analysis and planning process in an initial phase, the expansion phase will begin to upgrade the distribution networks or convert them to other green and climate-neutral gases in order to reach the target state by 2045 at the latest. In addition to the technical feasibility and availability of green and climate-neutral gases, it is of central importance that distribution system operators promptly enter into continuous dialog with users, producers, politicians and other stakeholders such as installers, heating manufacturers, etc., and conduct this dialog steadily and permanently.

Therefore, the Gas Grid Area Transformation Plan (GTP) envisions working with local business and other local stakeholders to develop decarbonization solutions that are effective and targeted for broad adoption. These region-specific solutions and conversion paths must be enabled and flanked by appropriate, nationwide laws and regulations.


Hydrogen network planning process in the context of a holistic energy system approach

An overview of the hydrogen network planning concept in the context of a holistic energy system view is shown in the figure. The concept presented for future hydrogen network planning will be integrated into the proven gas network development planning process. At the same time, by taking a holistic view of the energy system, new elements are also proposed to enable gas grid planning for hydrogen and methane to make a stronger contribution to achieving the targets of the Federal Climate Protection Act in the future.


Hydrogen testing concept

Based on the modeling results of the hydrogen variant 2032 in the NEP Gas 2022-2032, the transmission system operators perform a hydrogen test for the year 2032 for the reported demands of the distribution system operators.

The objective of the hydrogen test is to identify network interconnection points (NCPs) or exit zones of the distribution system operators that can be reached with a hydrogen infrastructure without further network expansion measures on the part of the transmission system operators based on the results of the hydrogen variant for the year 2032. Furthermore, it will be examined whether a simultaneous supply with methane could be considered for the identified NCPs in principle, so that blending is possible at the distribution grid level. If there is a possibility to convert first areas or individual NKPs of the distribution system operators to 100% hydrogen, first potential “hydrogen conversion areas” could be identified, analogous to the planning process of the L-H gas market area conversion.

Accordingly, the transmission system operators determine the first potentials for a possible initial use of hydrogen in the distribution system on the basis of the reports received from the distribution system operators and the modeling results of the hydrogen variant 2032. The transmission system operators are already in close contact with the distribution system operators in order to develop initial joint concepts. The planned procedure for hydrogen testing is shown in the figure.


Grid expansion measures Hydrogen variant 2032

The hydrogen network 2032 presented in the interim status for the NEP Gas 2022-2032 shows the result of the modeling of a Germany-wide hydrogen network for the year 2032 based on the MoU requirements, the results of the network development plan Gas 2020-2030 and the pipeline reports of the transmission system operators and other potential hydrogen network operators as well as on existing parallel pipeline systems in the transmission system. This results in a hydrogen network with a pipeline length of 7,600-8,500 km by 2032.


Grid expansion measures Hydrogen variant 2027

The hydrogen network 2027 presented in the interim status for the NEP Gas 2022-2032 shows the result of the modeling of a Germany-wide hydrogen network for the year 2027 based on the MoU requirements, the results of the network development plan Gas 2020-2030 and the pipeline reports of the transmission system operators and other potential hydrogen network operators as well as on existing parallel pipeline systems in the transmission system. This will result in a hydrogen network with a pipeline length of 2,900-3,000 km by 2027.


Overview of decentralized hydrogen projects with a focus on the distribution grid

Whether small or on an industrial scale, research in nature or ready for practical application, narrowly focused or spanning value-adding stages: the listed selection of over 30 projects at the distribution grid level gives an impression of the current, diverse decarbonization activities of distribution grid operators spread across Germany. These underscore the relevance of the distribution network to the development of the hydrogen economy. The figure depicts current hydrogen projects related to the distribution grid.


IPCEI location map of the BMWi from May 28, 2021

On May 28, 2021, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), together with the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), published a list of 62 major projects eligible for potential funding under the IPCEI-Hydrogen program. The funding amount of EUR 8 billion is expected to trigger investments totaling EUR 33 billion [BMWi 2021].

In addition to projects for hydrogen production and numerous concepts for its use, several infrastructure projects are also part of this program.

With the realization of these IPCEI infrastructure projects, a first supraregional hydrogen network will be created from the Dutch border via Hamburg and Salzgitter, the industrial region of Halle/Leipzig and via Berlin to Rostock. In addition, cross-border regional projects, particularly in North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland, have also been selected for the IPCEI hydrogen program.

Currently, the specified application documents are being reviewed by the authorities. According to current information, a final decision on the funding program and subsequent investment decisions is expected by the end of 2022.


Hydrogen network 2032

The hydrogen network 2032 presented in the interim status for the NEP Gas 2022-2032 shows the result of the modeling of a Germany-wide hydrogen network for the year 2032 based on the MoU requirements, the results of the network development plan Gas 2020-2030 and the pipeline reports of the transmission system operators and other potential hydrogen network operators as well as on existing parallel pipeline systems in the transmission system. This results in a hydrogen network with a pipeline length of 7,600-8,500 km by 2032.


Transformation of transmission networks: arteries of the climate-neutral future

Today’s natural gas customer is tomorrow’s hydrogen customer.

In the face of climate change, only one thing is certain: we must do everything in our power to limit the global rise in temperature. Fossil fuels therefore have no long-term future. At the latest, with climate neutrality targeted for 2045, natural gas can no longer play a role without capturing CO2.

Nevertheless, the continued use and development of gas infrastructure is not a commitment to the continued use of fossil fuels. On the contrary, it is a prerequisite for efficient and thus socially acceptable climate protection and will remain the guarantor of a secure energy supply in the future energy system.


Hydrogen network 2050: for a climate-neutral Germany

With the hydrogen network for a climate-neutral Germany (H2 network 2050), the transmission system operators (TSOs) are demonstrating that they can construct such a network efficiently and reliably at moderate investment costs. The H2 network 2050 has been further developed by the TSOs from the “Visionary Hydrogen Network” published in January 2020. This first vision of the future included many considerations, but without a network simulation for future hydrogen transport needs. The H2 network 2050 now presented, on the other hand, is based on detailed grid planning. The 2050 H2 network is about 13,300 km long, of which about 11,000 pipeline kilometers are based on converted gas pipelines. The investment costs up to the year 2050 amount to around 18 billion euros.


Hydrogen Network 2030: Towards a Climate-Neutral Germany

With the Hydrogen Network 2030 (in short: H2 Net 2030), the transmission system operators (TSOs) show solutions how transport needs can be met promptly on a supra-regional basis in the case of dynamic development of the hydrogen market. The 2030 H2 network is about 5,100 km long, of which about 3,700 line kilometers are on converted gas pipelines based. The investment costs up to 2030 amount to around 6 billion euros.


Visionary hydrogen network

In early 2020, the German transmission system operators (TSOs) presented a vision for an initial Germany-wide hydrogen infrastructure in the form of a network map for the first time. This lists lines with a total length of about 5,900 km. This visionary pipeline system is based to over 90 percent on the existing natural gas network and is being continuously developed. A large part of the future consumption focal points of hydrogen in the industrial, mobility and heat sectors, as well as numerous underground storage facilities, can be connected via the pipeline system to the focal points of occurrence.