Hydrogen Infrastructure

For the hydrogen economy to succeed, it needs a compatible infrastructure to provide storage and transport.

Hydrogen is relatively easy to store. Volatile wind and solar energy can thereby be converted to allow flexibility of use. To ensure that these forms of energy can be successfully utilised, however, appropriate storage facilities and infrastructures to transport the energy to the consumer are required.

 

Hydrogen offers the possibility of storing the volatile energy generated from sun and wind. When there are strong winds or the sun is shining brightly, H2 can be produced by electrolysis and the energy stored in the form of this chemical element. It can be assumed that very large quantities of hydrogen will be needed in the future, both in industry and in the transport and energy sectors. A powerful and robust infrastructure is needed to secure this supply, in terms of both transporting and storing the gas.

 

The various options for storing hydrogen

 

There are various options for storing hydrogen efficiently. In its pure form, as the H2 molecule, it can be stored and transported under high pressure in the form of gas or in liquid form at ambient pressure and extremely low (cryogenic) temperatures of minus 253 degrees Celsius or colder. The fluid product has a higher density and thus a higher calorific value per unit of volume. It therefore needs less room for storage, which makes transport more efficient and can to some extent offset the energy costs of cooling the product.

 

Storage facilities with high capacities are needed to be able to meet the huge demand for green hydrogen expected in the future flexibly. This could include storage in subterannean cavities such as caverns or porous underground facilities, which have already been tried and tested for storing natural gas. Irrespective of the occurrence of such cavities, storage is possible in pipeline facilities, though these can only accommodate considerably smaller quantities. 

 

Facilitating transport between production and storage sites and the consumer

 

Apart from efficient storage facilities in sufficient numbers, high-performance transport routes are also essential to develop a large-scale infrastructure. Key consumption points must be connected to the large-scale electrolysis sites and storage facilities by pipelines. Since many industrial consumers need pure hydrogen, new pipelines must be constructed in some cases and the existing gas network converted to carry hydrogen. Transport by rail, road and waterways is also possible – under high pressure, in liquid or chemically-bound form, for example by means of methanol, ammonia or liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC). The sites will, however, be reliant on connectivity to a hydrogen pipeline network in order to meet the significant industrial demand economically in the long-term.

A well-functioning infrastructure is a fundamental prerequisite for the success of the hydrogen economy on an international scale. With our map entitled “Europe moving towards a hydrogen ecomony”, we present a holistic overview of the existing and potential pipelines, routes and sites.

Your contact

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Dr. Stefan Herrig

Project Manager Industry and Production

Phone: +49 209 408 599-10

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Akram El-Bahay

Project Manager Energy Sector

Phone: +49 211 8220 864-37

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Portrait der Projektmanagerin Industrie und Produktion Tania Begemann vor einer Glasfront.

Tania Begemann

Project Manager Industry and Production.

Phone: +49 209 408 599-11

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