Our network is already becoming increasingly important in the transformation phase.
Making our way to a fully decarbonised world will still take many years.
Even today, independent studies (for example, the dena study “Integrated Energy Transition”) say that the goal of near-complete CO2 reduction by 2050 will be much easier to achieve if, instead of purely electricity-based applications in all sectors, we rely on a broad mix of various energy sources, infrastructures and applications.
Nevertheless: we are also considering the inevitable transition phase. In our concept, it will take place in an evolutionary fashion and be much easier to manage for all participants.
If petrol, diesel or kerosene are synthesised with renewable hydrogen, existing vehicles and aircraft can continue to be operated in a climate-neutral way using these so-called “e-fuels”. Scrapping them before their useful life is over would be a massive waste of resources. In addition, e-fuels are carbon-neutral to use and much cleaner than fossil fuels. This means they can also make a positive contribution to reducing exhaust pollution.
Currently, natural and biogas cover 24 per cent of Germany’s energy needs.
In 2018, we alone transported six billion cubic metres of natural and biogas to distribution network operators, industrial operations and power plants. The continuous increase in price of CO2 emissions will lead to coal and oil first being replaced by much more environmentally-friendly natural gas.
As the network used for this can be converted and extended into a hydrogen network in stages, we will simultaneously be creating the conditions for a successful transition to climate-neutral energy supplies using hydrogen.
At any rate, the results of the dena study “Integrated Energy Transition” are quite clear on this point: an energy system that relies on a broad mix of technologies and energy sources, including the existing gas infrastructure, is around 600 billion cheaper than one based on electricity alone.
Germany is getting ready for the hydrogen era.
We are are strengthening our network for non-discriminatory transport of this climate-friendly energy source.
And a massive task lies ahead of us. Climate change and politics have brought a new dynamism to developments towards climate-friendly energy supplies.
Ambitious goals have been set and a timetable has been agreed. The general consensus is that the goals can only be achieved efficiently with hydrogen technology. Success, however, will not just depend on climate-neutral hydrogen being available in increasing quantities, but also on the ability to supply it nationwide. This is the only way our region and our country can retain their economic power. We want and need to start without delay, to prepare our transport network for the new energy era.
The world of gas is becoming more diverse. The step-by-step replacement of natural gas with more climate-friendly alternatives will require an extremely demanding transformational process.
For this, we need all our knowledge and all our strength. For hydrogen networks to become the basis for a developing hydrogen market, which is available to all, they must also be provided with stable and reliable legal and regulatory conditions for investment in this sector. For this reason, prompt and reliable agenda-setting political processes are an essential requirement for the economic and technical stability of our energy supplies.
Durable decisions for reliable effects. This is the only way can we continue to make progress against climate change possible in the future and also implement projects like our new gas pipeline in the Ruhr from Datteln to Herne. This pipeline will create a connection to a highly efficient gas power station with heat extraction, causing much less CO₂ to be emitted than from a coal power plant.