The new policies and the revised renewable energy Directive are fixing ambitious targets for 2030: renewable energy target of at least 32% and an energy efficiency target of at least 32.5%. When the policies are fully implemented, they will lead to a great reduction on emissions for the whole EU, around 45% by 2030 (relative to 1990 GHG emission). The EU framework towards GHG emissions reduction is based in six key areas of action, including the deployment of renewable energy production, decarbonising heating and cooling applications (which vastly relies on fossil fuels), and reducing the emissions on the transport sector. Therefore, the integrated energy markets in the EU shall allow important transformations to provide more flexibility and be better placed to integrate a greater share of renewable energies, allowing also a more independent energy system.
In this context, Hydrogen can play a pivotal role as energy vector allowing coupling the energy sectors (produced by electrolysis), and as an alternative fuel in hard to electrify sectors. To facilitate that a high amount of hydrogen is produced by RE, existent gas infrastructure could be a way of transporting hydrogen between production point and final use. Therefore, hydrogen injection into the gas grid could support gas-electricity sector coupling and opening the role of hydrogen as a way of decarbonising the gas usages.
HIGGS project aimed to pave the way to decarbonisation of the gas grid and its usage, by covering the gaps of knowledge of the impact that high levels of hydrogen could have on the gas infrastructure, its components and its management.
To reach this goal, several activities, including mapping of technical, legal and regulatory barriers and enablers, testing and validation of systems and innovation, techno-economic modelling and the preparation of a set of conclusions as a pathway towards enabling the injection of hydrogen in high-pressure gas grids, were developed in the project.