Norway-Germany hydrogen value chain technically feasible, study finds

The joint Norwegian-German feasibility study on a hydrogen value chain between Norway and Germany has shown that, given a number of assumptions, it is technically possible to establish a value chain for transporting large quantities of hydrogen from Norway to Germany.

Gen2 Energy's facility in Mosjøen. Courtesy of Gen2 Energy

The study was commissioned by the German and Norwegian authorities in 2022 and has been carried out by the Norwegian state-owned company Gassco and the German energy agency DENA on behalf of the industry.

According to the Norwegian authorities, the study’s purpose was to assess the feasibility of a German-Norwegian hydrogen value chain, from potential hydrogen producers in Norway to consumers in Germany, with a planned start-up in 2030.

Necessary prerequisites for the value chain to be realized are, among other things, related to market maturity and willingness to pay on the user side, regulatory framework and technology qualification, authorities said, noting that the results from the study will be discussed and followed up in the joint working group, which was recently established between the German and Norwegian authorities.

To note, among other things, the study revealed that the energy price for hydrogen will have to significantly exceed the energy price for natural gas to justify investments in a hydrogen value chain and the energy loss from hydrogen production.

Furthermore, commercial commitments are needed to justify the development of large-scale hydrogen production and associated infrastructure along with significant investments in the hydrogen transport infrastructure. Additionally, commitment from the industry and governmental support are said to be necessary.

The study also showed that planned Norwegian projects could accommodate large low-carbon hydrogen quantities delivered at steady flow to Germany and that the transport of hydrogen from Norway to Germany is considered technically feasible by 2030 as already mentioned above.

The total transport capacity of the hydrogen offshore pipeline is 4 mtpa, of which 2.75 mtpa is low-carbon hydrogen from the Norwegian large-scale low-carbon hydrogen production projects. The remaining capacity is to account for future projects and tie-in volumes, according to the study.

To remind, in October 2023, Norwegian Gen2 Energy and Germany’s Securing Energy for Europe (SEFE), via its subsidiary WINGAS, signed a transaction term sheet for the delivery of green hydrogen, representing a step forward to realizing the import of green hydrogen from Norway to Germany.