(Reuters) – Investments of between 15 and 22 billion euros ($15.92-$23.36 billion) could buy a 4,200-kilometer new hydrogen pipeline network linking Germany, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, according to a study from analysts at DNV consultancy on Thursday.
The study, commissioned by German gas pipeline operator Gascade, says that up to 300 terawatt hours (TWh) a year of clean hydrogen made from North Sea offshore wind power could be transported by the grid.
This would meet 15% of demand for the synthetic fuel that the European Union forecasts for the year 2050.
Germany and the European Union are seeking to shift future energy production towards renewables and to produce, import and market hydrogen from wind and sunshine to eliminate climate-warming gases.
“We believe it is important to look now to be able to arrive at an offshore European hydrogen grid in time,” said Ulrich Benterbusch, managing director of Gascade, which is jointly owned by oil and gas producer Wintershall Dea and gas importer Securing Energy for Europe.
The cost of North Sea hydrogen could be 4.59 euros per kg in 2030, falling to 3.24 euros/kg in 2050, said the authors.