Assessment of Using Hydrogen in Gas Distribution Grids

Johannes Giehl*, Jeremias Hollnagel, Joachim Müller-Kirchenbauer

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Substantial changes in the energy system are necessary to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality. Green hydrogen is a key to defossilisation. Politicians frequently mention the use of hydrogen in the building sector to supply decentrally produced heat as a potential field of application. An advantage repeatedly mentioned is that the existing gas distribution network infrastructure is an important asset that could still be used in the future. However, there is a lack of analyses of the conversion of gas distribution networks to hydrogen focussing on the economic implications on the costs of the distribution network infrastructure. The paper provides insights using a techno-economic model network analysis (MNA) tool called gas Distribution grId modelliNg tOol (DINO). The analysis is carried out for Germany and considers hydrogen use in all counties. The results are compared to a synthetic methane and electrification scenario. In the hydrogen scenario, the total need for distribution grids is decreasing until 2050 by at least 130,000 km. The network length of the synthetic methane scenario is slightly lower and that of the electrification scenario drops to zero. The annual operation costs are lower in all scenarios as gas demand and infrastructure are reduced. Nevertheless, the total annual cost in the hydrogen scenario is potentially two times higher than in the case of the synthetic methane scenario and more than four times higher than in the electrification scenario. Based on the present results, it is questionable whether an advantage of the continued use of the existing gas distribution grid infrastructure in case of synthetic gas or hydrogen scenarios exists.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Udgave nummer42
Sider (fra-til)16037-16047
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - maj 2023
Udgivet eksterntJa

Bibliografisk note

Published online: 27 January 2023.


  • Energy transition
  • Hydrogen infrastructure
  • Gas distribution grids
  • Model network analysis
  • Cost analysis
  • Infrastructure conversion