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Germany and UK Propose 400-Mile Undersea Hydrogen Pipeline Network in North Sea

Recently, Germany proposed to the UK to build a 400-mile hydrogen pipeline network under the North Sea as a way for Germany, Europe's largest economy, to move away from its reliance on fossil energy.

Image courtesy of the internet

According to people familiar with the matter, Germany's Green Party Deputy National Chancellor Johnson Habeck proposed the idea during a meeting earlier this month with British business reception heavyweight Kemi Badenoch.

Germany is expected to become Europe's largest market for hydrogen imports over the next few decades, with plans to buy about 70 percent of its hydrogen from overseas and achieve its overall net-zero goal. As Germany's climate development strategy focuses on hydrogen, hydrogen pipelines are on the agenda in the context of carburization difficulties in industrial sectors where processes are difficult to automate electrically.

The situation in Russia and Ukraine raises new questions about energy issues and the dependence on natural gas. The pipeline proposal is still in the initial stage, the plan includes immediate access to Germany through the reborn North Sea, or choose to pass through the Norwegian route.

German government departments look forward to the project feasibility of this project as soon as possible, while the British energy issues and net zero unit has expressed its agreement to become a hydrogen exporter, and would like to know the feasible options.

According to the concept, the UK will utilize its vast on-water wind energy resources to produce hydrogen, which will then be supplied to the industrial production of neighboring countries in the European region through the North Sea Pipeline.

At this stage, it is difficult to achieve large-scale electrical automation in areas such as the steel industry, chemicals and cement, so Germany is betting on hydrogen to solve these problems.

Germany and Denmark have agreed to build a similar pipeline by 2030 and have already collaborated on the feasibility of the project, creating an ambitious blueprint for the UK to build a hydrogen pipeline.

In September 2023, UK Energy Minister George Calanan traveled to New York and signed a synergistic declaration of intent slogan with German government departments, serving each other with a commitment to accelerate the production and commerce of hydrogen. Scotland, with its on-water wind resources, is likely to be a significant beneficiary of the program.

The Scottish Government has allocated funding to the Net Zero Research Center in Aberdeen to discuss the feasibility of an export route from Scotland to Germany. The new hydrogen pipeline, which will cost €270,000 to create, will be able to meet 10% of the European region's hydrogen imports and is expected to be delivered in the mid to late 2030s, according to the core.

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