3rd round GTP: Conversion of gas grids to hydrogen
The H2vorOrt initiative has published its planning guidelines for the Gas Grid Transformation Plan (GTP) 2024. Based on these guidelines, the distribution system operators (DSOs) are now to plan the conversion of their gas grids to hydrogen operation.
While the transmission system operators (TSOs) are preparing for the hydrogen ramp-up in the form of the hydrogen core network, the local DSOs are planning to convert their natural gas infrastructure to hydrogen with the GTP. The aim is to establish a nationwide hydrogen network from the existing gas network. The DSOs are not only analyzing their network components and capacities, but are also seeking dialogue with major customers and municipalities. The initiative intends to summarize the results of the individual plans in a Germany-wide report this autumn.
With the help of the GTP 2024, the gas distribution network should then be able to bridge the gap between the hydrogen core network and consumers. This will not only enable the supply of industrial customers, but also the designation of hydrogen network expansion areas as part of municipal heat planning. According to H2vorOrt, the coordinated planning work of the GTP is recognized throughout the industry and has been institutionalized with its inclusion in the technical regulations of the DVGW. The creation of GTPs is recommended by the Federal Environment Agency, among others.
Hydrogen important for municipal heating planning
In September last year, the initiative published the report for the second time. It already covers 415,000 km of the German gas distribution network. The report thus shows both "the clear commitment of distribution system operators to decarbonize the gas networks" and the relevant hydrogen needs of major customers and municipalities. Feedback from interested companies for the third edition of the report is still possible until June 30, 2024. H2vorOrt also recommends participation to DSOs that did not take part in the first two rounds.
The 49 H2vorOrt partner companies represent more than half of the gas distribution network kilometers in Germany. Today, German gas distribution networks supply around 50% of all households with heat and over 1.8 million industrial and commercial customers with energy.
Ingbert Liebing, Managing Director of VKU, emphasized that this network should not become "dependent on individual systems or energy sources". Hydrogen could also play a relevant role in supplying heat to businesses and households.