Gas transmission system operators (TSOs) plan to invest €7.8 billion in secure and future-proof pipeline networks
With the final Gas Network Development Plan (NDP) 2020-2030 published today, the transmission system operators are presenting their plans for secure and future-proof gas supplies in Germany. The publication concludes the Gas NDP 2020-2030 development process. Following the Federal Network Agency’s change request, the final Gas NDP no longer contains the H2 starter network 2030 for hydrogen transmission, which had been included in the TSOs’ Gas NDP draft.
The final version of the Gas NDP 2020-2030 now includes 175 gas pipeline construction projects with a total length of 1,620 km as well as 405 MW of new compressor capacity. The projects will continue to ensure reliable gas supplies in line with demand by meeting additional requirements in southern Germany, connecting new gas-fired power plants and helping to replace declining production of L-gas from German and Dutch sources, e.g. by connecting alternative sources for H-gas to the network. The Gas NDP takes into account the current European climate protection targets and is based on the scenario framework confirmed by the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) at the end of 2019.
In response to the BNetzA's change request of 19 March 2021, the TSOs had to make a crucial amendment to the draft Gas NDP 2020-2030: "We regret that the H2 starter network included in our models following the market survey cannot be implemented as part of the Network Development Plan," said FNB Gas Managing Director Inga Posch. However, the option of rededicating individual gas pipelines for hydrogen-only transportation and the gas grid measures required for hydrogen conversion projects are still included in the Gas NDP 2020-2030.
Hydrogen projects are to be approved as part of the so-called ad hoc review process in accordance with the draft law on transitional regulation for hydrogen networks, which is currently being discussed in the Bundestag. This would allow at least some projects to be implemented, provided there is a viable financing solution. "In view of the ad hoc review, we fear delays and risks for users and operators of the future hydrogen network, as well as additional work for all parties involved", Posch added.
Dr Thomas Gößmann, FNB Gas CEO, pointed out that Germany stands to lose some of its competitive edge to other countries in and outside the EU: "A country without an efficient and well-developed hydrogen infrastructure will no longer be attractive as an industrial location in the future. We therefore need a framework for the integrated planning and financing of gas and hydrogen infrastructure. Not least because, in addition to the hydrogen ramp-up, more and more biomethane and synthetic methane supplies will also have to be secured in the future."
Detailed information on the NDP Gas 2020-2030 is provided in the publicly accessible Gas NDP database.