OGE in Europe
As one of the leading transmission system operators in Europe, OGE is committed to the UN Climate Change Treaty of Paris and the EU's energy and climate policy goals.
We are convinced that these goals can only be achieved at European and international level in close cooperation between business, politics and society. Therefore, OGE has the clear claim to be a proactive shaper of a sustainable energy transition at the EU level as well.
With this self-image, we are active at EU level in various ways. This is done within initiatives that OGE has co-founded, by supporting activities of the EU Commission and within the framework of numerous EU-related projects. The focus is primarily on the future role of gas and gas infrastructures and the establishment of a European hydrogen network.
European Hydrogen Backbone
In 2020, OGE, together with ten transmission system operators (TSOs) from nine EU countries, founded the European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) initiative and presented a first concept for a pure, Europe-wide hydrogen transport infrastructure. Today, 32 energy infrastructure operators from 28 countries belong to the EHB.
Over the past two years, the EHB initiative has developed a concrete, tangible and implementable vision of how a Europe-wide, competitive transport infrastructure for hydrogen can be developed based on the existing gas infrastructure.
Since 2022: EHB continues to grow and revises vision
Since 2022, the EHB initiative grew to 32 TSOs from 28 countries. In April 2022, in response to the EU Commission's REPowerEU strategy, it presented its revised EHB vision of an accelerated pathway to achieve the EU's goals of increased resilience of the European energy system.
In May 2022 EHB publishes five potential hydrogen supply corridors to meet Europe’s accelerated 2030 hydrogen goals.
2021: Hydrogen demand study
A demand analysis by the EHB from the same year shows that hydrogen will play a central role in security of supply and the decarbonisation of various sectors. The analysis also shows that the EHB can link hydrogen supply and demand across Europe in a timely manner, enabling the rapid, cost-effective ramp-up of a European hydrogen economy.
2021: EHB initiative grows and presents vision
In 2021, the initiative grew to 23 TSOs from 21 countries. They published a further developed vision of the EHB with an approximately 40,000 km long, Europe-wide hydrogen pipeline network. According to the study, about two-thirds of existing gas networks can be used for this.
Find out more about the EHB initiative and its publications here.
The EHB initiative emerged from the "Gas for Climate" initiative, which OGE was also involved in founding in 2017.
Gas for Climate Initiative
Co-founded in 2017 by OGE and others, Gas for Climate is a coalition of eleven leading European gas transmission companies (DESFA, Enagás, Energinet, Fluxys, Gasunie, GRTgaz, Nordion, ONTRAS, Open Grid Europe, Snam and Teréga) and three renewable gas industry associations (Consorzio Italiano Biogas, European Biogas Association and German Biogas Association).
The members of Gas for Climate are united by the conviction that the use of renewable and low-carbon gas via the existing gas infrastructure makes it possible to achieve the binding climate protection targets cost-effectively and with maximum benefit for the European economy.
In this regard, “Gas for Climate” has conducted several major studies in recent years analyzing the future role and added value of gas and gas infrastructure.
2023: PanEU report – Assessing of a pan-European hydrogen transmission network
Gas for Climate consortium kicks off a large energy system modelling study: This study assesses the potential benefits of a pan-European rather than a regional H₂ grid. The analysis shows that the development of a pan-European H₂-grid is a key element for the European energy transition and contributes significantly to a affordable, secure and sustainable energy supply. The study also found that the pan-European H₂-grid can bring benefits to the energy system as early as 2030.
2022: Action plan for the implementation of the REPowerEU strategy
Most recently, in April 2022, “Gas for Climate” presented an action plan for the rapid implementation of the European Commission's REPowerEU strategy for Europe's rapid independence from Russian gas. It identifies immediate actions to accelerate the deployment and integration of renewable gas in Europe.
2021: Publication of policy paper
Building on the 2020 study, Gas for Climate published a policy paper in 2021 that provides analysis on why an 11% renewable gas target is necessary to achieve the EU's 55% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target by 2030.
2019/2020: Gas for Climate studies
For example, the “Gas for Climate” study published in March 2019 underlines that the smart combination of renewable gas and gas grids with renewable electricity is the optimal way to decarbonise the energy system in a sustainable way.
A “Gas for Climate” study published April 2020 shows the important role of gas and gas infrastructures for the transition to the most cost-effective climate-neutral energy system by 2050.
European Clean Hydrogen Alliance of the EU Commission
The EU Commission published its EU Hydrogen Strategy in July 2020 and set up the European Alliance for Clean Hydrogen to implement it. Its purpose is to bring together stakeholders from politics, business and society and to support the EU Commission in the implementation of its hydrogen strategy. OGE is represented in the European Alliance for Clean Hydrogen by our CFO, Dr Frank Reiners, at the “Energy Sector” Roundtable and supports the EU Commission with extensive expertise as one of the leading transmission system operators in Europe.
In November 2021, the Alliance presented a "project pipeline" with over 750 innovative hydrogen projects from all parts of the continent and along the entire value chain. In addition, the Alliance acts as an important advisory body on EU energy policy initiatives such as the EU Gas Market Package and REPowerEU.
Learn more about the work of the European Hydrogen Alliance of the EU Commission here.