Gas TSOs align on hydrogen network call for interest

Jake Stones


Additional reporting by Daniela Miccoli

LONDON (ICIS)–Spanish, French and German gas transmission system operators (TSOs), Enagas, GRTgaz and badenovaNETZE, have launched a series of non-binding calls for interest (CFI), reviewing potential market sizing for hydrogen pipeline networks based on projects spanning the three countries.

Spanish market participants are being consulted on potential needs for the first phase of a national hydrogen network, including the H2Med link which shall connect Portugal, Spain and France. GRTgaz and badenovaNETZE are seeking views on the potential hydrogen network project RHYn, located towards the German-French border.

Both CFI will run until 17 November, with Enagas aiming for publication of results around the end of January 2024.

The CFIs are both considered non-binding, meaning market participants will not be committed to infrastructure connection projects or capacity requests following their involvement. Rather, the CFIs shall help the respective TSOs to size future infrastructure, adapting hydrogen pipeline plans if necessary.

The questions to market participants consider items such as whether a party is a producer, user or marketer of hydrogen; how much hydrogen they are considering as part of their activities and when it would be online. Further, Enagas noted a request for which area of demand is being supplied.


The CFI market presentation for Enagas specifically notes a renewable hydrogen network.

This means that the potential outcomes of the CFI could begin to impact Spanish power market positions on the far curve. This is because a high level of interest for the CFI could indicate numerous market participants seeking to purchase power volumes from renewable asset operators, tightening the overall power market in Spain.

Enagas’ press release announcing the CFI stated that already over 110 market participants had sent letters of support for the development of the hydrogen market in Spain, including the development of the H2Med pipeline, the associated Spanish hydrogen backbone and the expression of interest process.

In June, a draft version of the updated Spanish National Energy and Climate Plan was published. In the plan, proposals were made to increase the electrolytic hydrogen production capacity target in Spain by 2030 from 4GW to 11GW.

Based on all 11GW operating at a 70% efficiency and running for 3,000 hours per year, around 47TWh of renewable power would be required to produce renewable hydrogen, ICIS analysis shows.

ICIS Power Horizon Forecast currently indicates that around 81% of total power generation in Spain will come from renewable sources by 2030, putting the country in a strong position for renewable hydrogen production.

Overall solar capacity is expected to climb from around 25GW in 2023 to 57GW in 2030, while onshore wind capacity is expected to increase from 30GW to 53GW, ICIS data shows. This means from just solar and wind developments over the 2020s, around 55GW of renewable capacity shall be built.

The development of new capacity is important because rules for producing renewable hydrogen, as outlined in the European Commission’s delegated act for renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO), dictate that hydrogen cannot be produced by a renewable asset that has entered into operation more than 36 months before the electrolyser.


The RHYn project is to be located on the north-eastern region of France and entails a connection with Germany across the river Rhine, after which the project is named.

Of the 100km of pipeline envisaged, at least 60% will see repurposed gas pipelines. According to the TSO’s website, a potential connection with Switzerland is also being explored.

The project will mostly support industrial decarbonization in the chemical and fertilizers industries. Furthermore the project also addresses several forms of transports, including river, road and air mobility thanks to the connection to the Basel-Mulhouse airport and the river Rhine.


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