Fluxys joins forces with North Sea gas transmission system operators to unlock full energy potential of the North Sea
The North Sea has the potential to deliver more affordable, secure and sustainable energy for Europe. The deployment of renewable energy in the North Sea, including green electricity and green hydrogen from offshore wind, together with carbon capture and sequestration, will be key to achieve the target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, as set in the European Climate Law and UK Net Zero Strategy.
In order to achieve the ambitious targets for both offshore wind energy production and associated green hydrogen production capacity, the TSOs surrounding the North Sea – Energinet, Fluxys, Gascade, Gas Networks Ireland, Gassco, Gasunie, GRTGaz, National Gas Transmission and OGE – have signed a joint declaration which they have conveyed to their respective heads of state.
In the declaration, the TSOs commit to a harmonious development of the full renewable energy potential of the North Sea. Taking into account prospects for offshore wind capacity of each country around the North Sea, some countries will benefit from excess renewable energy production while other countries will not have enough domestic resources. This will drive import-export flows between countries thanks to a renewable offshore energy system – both electricity and hydrogen.
With their experience in operating gas pipelines in and around the North Sea with third-party access services in a regulated environment, ensuring safe gas supply to European customers, gas TSOs are well placed to deploy hydrogen pipeline infrastructure, possibly by repurposing existing natural gas offshore pipelines and/or installing new pipelines, and, depending on national specificities and market organisation, this experience may also be useful to deploy CO2 transport infrastructure.
In order to harness the full North Sea resource potential, the gas TSOs call upon all stakeholders, from gas and electricity TSOs over future hydrogen network operators to policy makers, to join forces on the following key action points:
- Developing a cost-benefit framework to address cross-border cost allocation and financing issues between countries
- Developing a legal and regulatory framework for the optimal deployment of the necessary hydrogen and CO2 transmission infrastructure
- Developing a market framework to enable the early deployment of the offshore hydrogen value chain
- Speeding-up the permitting processes and maritime spatial planning (master plan) with the involvement of electricity and gas TSOs
Pascal De Buck, CEO of Fluxys, says: "We, as the undersigning TSOs of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom, fully support the ambition stated by the participating countries of the North Sea Summit. A balanced system of green electricity and green hydrogen from North Sea wind is the way forward to reduce overall system costs while boosting its robustness. Let’s combine our forces to ensure not a single gust of wind goes to waste in the North Sea."