Spanish, French and Portuguese TSOs to transform gas grid into hydrogen grid

The Spanish, French and Portuguese transmission system operators (TSOs) have signed an agreement to boost the transformation of the gas grid into a hydrogen grid.

Courtesy of REN

Namely, Spanish Enagás, Portuguese REN and French GRTgaz and Teréga are leading the initiative called Green2TSO which aims to transform the gas grid into a hydrogen grid through open innovation.

The project’s goal is to incorporate new technologies to allow hydrogen development in the transport grid.

Through Green2TSO, the consortium will carry out pilot projects, technology tests and other tasks, in order to accelerate the transformation of the natural gas grid. The fields to be prioritised will be technologies for the development of hydrogen detection and measurement systems, compression and above-ground storage and alternatives for coating and cleaning pipelines.

According to partners, one project in the field of hydrogen detection and measurement led by Green2TSO promoters, called Green2TSO OPHTYCS, has already been chosen by the European Commission to be co-funded.

The Green2TSO is aligned with the European Commission’s initiatives Green Deal, Fit for 55 and REPowerEU, underlining the role of European TSOs to become carriers of hydrogen as an efficient, safe and clean energy vector, using its large-scale infrastructure.

According to the CEO of Enagás, Arturo Gonzalo, “the collaboration of the TSOs also in the field of innovation is crucial for the development of renewable gases infrastructure in Europe”. Gonzalo added that “this agreement fits perfectly with the common objective of the European Union to decarbonise the economy the economy and advance in energy independence, as stated in the European Strategy REPowerEU”. In addition, he stressed that “initiatives such as this will reinforce the necessary capacities for the development of Hydrogen Network Operator (HNO) activities”.

Thierry Trouve, CEO of GRTgaz, remarked that “strong collaboration on research and development between gas TSOs is key to accelerate the deployment of a safe, flexible, and cost-efficient hydrogen grid. With our R&D Center, RICE (Research and Innovation Center for Energy), GRTgaz will provide high-skilled expertise and dedicated hydrogen facilities to drive and support the Green2TSO initiative towards the completion of the future European Hydrogen Backbone”.

One of the first pillars of the European Hydrogen Backbone is the EU’s first hydrogen corridor which is under development by these four TSOs.

The so-called H2Med project was proposed in October 2022 as part of the Green Energy Corridor which will connect Spain, Portugal and France to the European Union’s energy network.

In December 2022, Enagás, GRTgaz, Teréga and REN signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to formalise the countries’ commitment to jointly develop the hydrogen subsea pipeline between Barcelona and Marseille. The pipeline is scheduled to begin operations in 2030.

On the occasion of marking the 60th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty on 22 January this year, Germany announced its plans to join the H2Med which will have the capacity to transport up to 2 million tonnes per year (mtpa) of renewable hydrogen, which represents 10% of the forecast consumption in Europe in 2030, according to REPowerEU.

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