Green light for maximum hydrogen corridor between Italy and Germany (with production in Africa)

From North Africa to Sicily, then to Austria and Germany. In total, it is a 3,330 kilometer long pipe that could guarantee 20% of the hydrogen Europe needs between now and 2030. SouthernH2 Corridor It is the gas pipeline that the European Union has included among the strategic projects of common interest that will be focused on in the coming years in order to reach the Green Deal in the energy sector and accelerate decarbonization.

Hydrogen is integral to these goals, and North Africa is recognized as a potential treasure trove that can be used to power Northern European businesses (including Northern Italy). Therefore, the need arises to build a corridor such as SouthH2, which represents an important part of the so-called Mattei Plan for our country.

What is GüneyH2

SoutH2 is a 3,300 kilometer hydrogen pipeline connecting North Africa, Italy, Austria and Germany. The African section should connect Sicily to (already existing) gas pipelines reaching Tunisia from the Algerian fields. These gas pipelines were acquired outright by Eni and Snam at the beginning of the year. And two Italian multinational companies are among the main partners of the project, together with about twenty companies, mainly Austrian and German.

Renewable hydrogen (so produced from solar and wind, at least according to the plant) will be produced largely in North Africa. From here, the gas will flow towards Sicily and then reach Taranto (a node that could connect to the energy links of the Balkans), northern Italy, Austria and Germany. According to the estimates of the consortium carrying out the study, 70% of the project will involve the recycling of existing infrastructure, which will speed up the work and reduce costs.

If the European Commission has set a target of at least 20 million tonnes of hydrogen flowing into EU networks for 2030, the production potential of this gas in North Africa (from Morocco to Egypt) is estimated at 50 million tonnes. SoutH2 expects to “meet more than 20% of the production target” of hydrogen set by Brussels, writes Piero Ercoli of Snam at Rivista Energia. “This is a study that could offer a concrete solution to industries in Northern Italy, Austria and Southern Germany that have not been served by hydrogen development plans to date, especially thanks to the large renewable resources available offshore.” North focuses on the north and northwest of Europe,” says Ercoli once again.

Hydrogen thrust

SoutH2 is part of the Pics list, projects of common EU interest in the field of energy, which is periodically renewed by the European Commission. In the list of 166 projects, infrastructure related to hydrogen and electrolyzers (65 in total) is included for the first time. The other 85 projects include electricity, offshore photovoltaic plants and smart energy grids, and most of them are expected to be commissioned between 2027 and 2030. The list also includes 14 Co2 network projects in line with the EU’s goals of creating a market for carbon capture and storage. . One of these is the Co2 storage project Callisto (between France and Italy). The list also includes the Italy-Corsica-Sardinia direct current connection (Sacoi 3) and the gas pipeline connecting Malta to Italy.

The new thing, as we said, is the pressure on hydrogen. Just this week, Parliament and Member States gave the green light to a directive aimed at establishing common rules for internal markets of natural and renewable gases and hydrogen. This is one of the key pieces of legislation on the transition from natural gas to hydrogen and is aimed at promoting infrastructures and markets specifically for hydrogen and integrated network planning.

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Source: Today IT