French gas networks could mix in green hydrogen in future, say operators

(EurActiv, 15 Nov 2019) France’s gas network could be adapted to pipe a mix of natural gas with 20% hydrogen from 2030 onwards, as part of efforts to cut carbon emissions, operators said on Friday (15 November).

Hydrogen produces water when it burns rather than greenhouse gas CO2, offering a clean fuel if it is produced from renewable sources such as wind or solar energy, rather than from oil and gas, the source for most hydrogen produced now.

GRTgaz, GRDF, Elengy and other operators said the French network could initially use a mix of natural gas with 6% hydrogen. They recommended that the government set a target of 10% by 2030 and 20% beyond that.

The operators told a conference in Paris that the network could be adapted to deal with the change at limited cost.

Germany and other European countries have also been studying using a mix of natural gas and hydrogen in their networks to help reduce emissions that are warming the planet.

Under an update to the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) energy lending policy brokered yesterday, the EU lender will continue to fund gas infrastructure if it is for low-carbon gases like hydrogen.

“The new lending rules will support the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS), power-to-gas, hydrogen and biogas. Investments in gas infrastructure will deliver these technologies that all support the achievement of the 2050 carbon neutrality target,” said industry group Eurogas in a statement.

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EurActiv, 15 Nov 2019: French gas networks could mix in green hydrogen in future, say operators