Danish transmission system operator (TSO) Energinet and Gasunie Deutschland have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work on preparations for cross-border hydrogen infrastructure between Denmark and Germany, which will speed up preparatory work and will put countries’ green hydrogen ambitions on track by 2030.
Given that the development of the regulatory framework in both countries is ongoing and it has not yet been decided who will become the operator(s) of the hydrogen network, Energinet and Gasunie have signed the memorandum of agreement in the interest of the future operator(s) of the Danish and German hydrogen network. ), the companies said in a press release.
Under the MoU, both parties will take a coordinated approach to grid development planning based on the results of a pre-feasibility study that Energinet and Gasunie Deutschland conducted last year, and taking account of the latest market developments in terms of supply and demand.
In 2021, the companies carried out a technical-economic pre-feasibility study which showed that Denmark could potentially supply 10-25% of Germany’s future hydrogen demand. via a pipeline that the Danish and German governments have included in their Letter of Intent (LoI) on enhanced collaboration on green hydrogen in May 2022.
The LoI was signed in collaboration with the Esbjerg Declaration through which Germany, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands have set a common goal to provide at least 65 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and to increase this capacity to at least 150 GW by 2050.
“The hydrogen infrastructure allows us to fully utilize and export some of Denmark’s vast renewable energy resources and to meet the Esbjerg Declaration. At Energinet we already sense strong market interest in being able to supply the market German hydrogen with green hydrogen produced in Denmark – and the ambition is to achieve this before 2030”said Soren Dupont KristensenCEO of Energinet.
“A lot needs to be in place by then, so I am very happy that we are now committed to accelerating preparatory efforts and through this supporting European energy security.”
Since the signing of the Esbjerg declaration and the letter of intent between Denmark and Germany, ambitious political agreements on Power-to-X and the massive development of renewable energies were concluded in the Danish Parliament. Therefore, Energinet has launched a study that examines the feasibility of a “hydrogen backbone” in the western part of Denmark, including infrastructure for exports to Germany, according to the Danish TSO.
It is expected that large parts of the “hydrogen backbone” between the two countries could be based on the conversion of existing gas pipelines.
“The strategic value of the increased hydrogen cooperation between Denmark and Germany lies in the well-developed and efficient infrastructure that already connects the two neighboring countries. This gives us direct access to Danish sources of green hydrogen – without conversion to intermediate energy carriers such as ammonia”said the CEO of Gasunie Deutschland Jens Schumann.
As part of their recently signed Memorandum of Understanding, Energinet and Gasunie will also analyze and outline crucial decision points on the way to making final investment decisions.
The memorandum of understanding signed by the two companies strengthens the collaboration between Denmark and Germany, which have reached two new political agreements in the past few days.
On 29 August, ahead of the summit on energy security in the Baltic Sea, the two countries agreed on connecting the energy island of Bornholm to Germany to enable offshore wind power from this Danish energy island to be sent directly to the German power grid and the rest of Europe.
The Bornholm Energy Island, due for completion in 2030, will include 3 GW of offshore wind capacity and Power-to-X capabilities, such as producing green hydrogen from offshore wind.
The following day, August 30, the Danish and German Prime Ministers and Energy Ministers met at the Baltic Sea Energy Security Summit, along with their Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian counterparts.
The Marienborg Declaration sets out the overall vision of how to strengthen national and European independence from Russian energy and boost the green transition. In the document, country leaders pledged to a common ambition for offshore wind power in the Baltic Sea region at least 19.6 GW by 2030, a sevenfold increase from the current 2.8 GW.
In the declaration of the ministers of energythe energy leaders of the Baltic countries have agreed on how to connect the countries’ electricity networks more closely with the network of continental Europe thanks to joint cross-border hybrid projects, such as energy islands.
Energy ministers will also work to strengthen political cooperation on energy security and renewable energy deployment within the existing framework of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP), the aim of which is to create an open and integrated regional electricity and gas market between EU countries in the Baltic Sea region.
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