Efficient solutions for the decarbonisation of industry are in greater demand than ever. In particular, opportunities that will both contribute to security of supply and help companies on the way to climate-neutrality are on the agenda. RWE is accepting this challenge and developing a range of future-oriented strategies relating to all aspects of green hydrogen.
One of these is called “H2ercules”, since it really is a huge task: H2ercules is intended to make the green hydrogen that’s generated mainly in the north of Germany available to industrial businesses around the country. That will involve the creation of a 1,500-km hydrogen pipeline linking northern Germany and industrial consumers in the southern and western parts of the country. At the same time, the plan is to create 1 gigawatt of new electrolyser capacity in the north of Germany. RWE is working together on this project with transmission system operator OGE (Open Grid Europe). They both share the objective of forging ahead with developing Germany’s hydrogen infrastructure. The first companies, such as thyssenkrupp, have already expressed interest in connecting to H2ercules.
Germany’s national infrastructure strategy relies mainly on existing gas pipelines. These simply need to be reassigned to enable them to be used for hydrogen transportation. OGE also aims to put new pipelines in place. Compared to constructing an entirely new system, this approach is cheaper and, more importantly, faster. The total level of investment planned for H2ercules by OGE and RWE is €3.5 billion.
H2ercules opens up many new opportunities on the German hydrogen market. One is the connection to major import routes for green hydrogen, which could initially come from Belgium and the Netherlands, and also from Norway at a later stage. The project thus contributes to the creation of a European hydrogen market, while simultaneously ensuring the supply of green hydrogen to industrial customers in Germany.