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Expensive, wasteful, limited CO2 reduction: Blending hydrogen into gas grid should be avoided

By January 26, 2022March 4th, 2022No Comments

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Expensive, wasteful, limited CO2 reduction: Blending hydrogen into gas grid should be avoided

Jan 26, 2022 • Recharge

Adding 20% green H2 to Europe’s distribution networks would increase end-user costs by up to 43%, while cutting greenhouse gases by just 6-7%, says Fraunhofer Institute study

Initiatives by gas distributors and governments to add up to 20% green hydrogen to gas grids would be expensive, wasteful, technically complex to achieve and would reduce carbon emissions by a far lower amount than other uses of that H2, according to a new study by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology (IEE).

“Therefore blending, even at low percentages, constitutes a sub-optimal pathway for the deployment of hydrogen and should be avoided,” explains the 50-page report, The Limitations of Hydrogen Blending in the European Gas Grid.

Instead, government policies should deliver H2 to “no-regrets” sectors such as fertilisers, steel, shipping and aviation, which “would avoid lock-in risks, generate greater GHG [greenhouse gas] savings for the investments made and avoid added costs being put on all gas consumers”, it says.

Adding 20% hydrogen to the gas grid — as many distributors and network operators are lobbying for — would increase industry costs by an average of 23.8% across the EU, and up to 43.3% in Portugal, where gas prices are relatively low, the study explains.

Price rises for households would be lower, due to smaller user volumes, with an average 11.2% increase across the EU, rising to 15.9% in Portugal.

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