Hydrogen will play a key role in decarbonizing Europe’s gas industry and contributing to the EU targets for net-zero carbon emissions for 2050. DNV 2020 Energy Transition Outlook forecasts significant growth in hydrogen demand in Europe over the next decades. From almost no demand today, it will account for almost half of end-use gas demand in Europe in 2050. With increasing demand and supply of hydrogen in the future, the question arises how hydrogen can be safely transported. This means that the existing natural gas network could be used to transport hydrogen and new infrastructure must be built. In this regards, DNV is involved in different JIP initiatives to establish some rules and options for transmission operators. The gained knowledge is implementing directly in on-going studies.
In this paper DNV will present the current approach regarding assessing the existing natural gas network in order to transport hydrogen blends and 100% hydrogen safely. There are different challenges when changing from natural gas to hydrogen. First, it is very important to establish the requirements infrastructure should meet to be able to transport hydrogen. Consecutively, assessments of the suitability of existing infrastructure for hydrogen should be executed taking into account integrity and functionality of each component of the existing network. Following, the safety issues to be evaluated in order to achieve appropriate levels of safety and integrity of the infrastructure and to satisfy regulatory and corporate criteria. Finally, the economic impact of the transition to hydrogen to be evaluated to make this transition in the most cost effectively way.