The European Hydrogen Backbone Furthering Energy Independence

Guidehouse supports the European Hydrogen Backbone initiative

As European countries aim to achieve greater energy independence, there has been a greater push to accelerate and scale up the adoption of decarbonized energy sources. This was highlighted in the REPowerEU statement—a plan to phase out Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels from Russia well before 2030 and to increase the resilience of the EU-wide energy system.

The European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) initiative is a promising solution to accelerate hydrogen adoption for greater energy security and meet renewable targets. To achieve this, the EHB has accelerated its program from 2035 to 2030 with the aim to meet the REPowerEU targets. The group proposes a hydrogen network of ~53,000 km by 2040, with further growth expected after 2040.

The initiative states: “The EHB aims to accelerate Europe’s decarbonization journey by defining the critical role of hydrogen infrastructure – based on existing and new pipelines – in enabling the development of a competitive, liquid, pan-European renewable and low-carbon hydrogen market. The initiative seeks to foster market competition, security of supply, and cross-border collaboration between European countries and their neighbors.”

Since the initial launch one and a half years ago, the EHB’s 2040 vision network has expanded to 18 new countries and has grown by 110%. The Backbone is expected to be made up of around 60%-40% repurposed natural gas versus new pipelines in 2040.

“Going beyond just regional clusters and anticipating a Europe–wide hydrogen transportation infrastructure based on the existing gas infrastructure early on creates confidence for future market participants, access to various competitive supply sources and security of demand for project developers,” said Daniel Muthmann, Chairman of the EHB initiative.

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