OIES Podcast – PolyGrid 2050: Integrating hydrogen into the European energy transfer infrastructure landscape
In this podcast David Ledesma talks with Rahmat Poudineh and Martin Palovic about their paper on integrating hydrogen into the European energy transfer infrastructure landscape. As hydrogen is expected to play an important role in European plans towards climate neutrality, adequate hydrogen transport (and storage) infrastructure needs to be established. However, hydrogen transport infrastructures are costly and have a long lead time. Furthermore, hydrogen can be transported via a variety of means: it can be transported as a gas via pipelines or liquid via road, rail and sea or even converted to derivatives such as ammonia or methanol for long distance transportation. It is also possible to transfer electrical energy instead of hydrogen and produce hydrogen in a decentralized way. From a system perspective, all these infrastructures represent elements of a grand hydrogen ‘polygrid’ that will be the backbone of the future decarbonized energy system. This raises the fundamental question of how to prevent inefficiency and infrastructure redundancy across different modes of hydrogen transport. The task is made more challenging by technological uncertainty, the unpredictability of future supply and demand for hydrogen, network externality effects, and investment irreversibility of grid-based infrastructures. In this podcast, we discuss three possible coordination approaches to optimise future cross-sectoral investment into hydrogen transport infrastructure and highlight their strengths and shortcomings.