Lithuania may become a significant link in the development and transportation of hydrogen in Europe

Date

2022 06 30

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As Lithuania pursues a rapid transition to renewable energy, the first nation-wide study to be carried out on the development of the hydrogen sector shows that Lithuania has the potential to become a significant player in the development and transportation of hydrogen resources in Europe. The study was presented at an event held at the Ministry of Energy by consulting companies Baringa Consulting Limited and Civitta, which conducted the study in cooperation with Lithuanian gas transmission system operator Amber Grid and the EPSO-G Group.

After a detailed analysis of the situation, the independent foreign experts said that Lithuania has the opportunities it needs to organise the production, storage, transfer and export of hydrogen. As one of the most important conditions for the creation of a hydrogen economy, the experts pointed to the development of renewable electricity capacity in Lithuania and the surrounding markets.

“Hydrogen is a new field of technology that we are giving – and will continue to give – considerable attention to in order to decarbonise the country’s industrial, transport, energy and building sectors. In addition, hydrogen technology creates new value chains, jobs and basis for innovation; it fundamentally redraws the map of the world economy and shapes the energy sector of the future,” said Vice-Minister of Energy Daiva Garbaliauskaitė during the hydrogen development study presentation.

The vice-minister also stressed that with the creation of hydrogen production capacity, the gas transmission system could become the main green hydrogen transportation network in the region and in Lithuania itself. The experts who conducted the study also recommended this – according to them, gas transmission system operator Amber Grid should develop a hydrogen network in Lithuania and prepare to transport surplus energy to hydrogen demand centres in Europe, thus decarbonising industry.
During a remote meeting, representatives of the Ministry presented the main directions for development of the hydrogen sector and the investments required to achieve the goals, and the experts who conducted the study provided 14 recommendations that Lithuania should implement by 2030 in order to create a hydrogen economy. These recommendations include not only the development of a national hydrogen strategy, but also the accelerated development of pilot projects and the creation of hydrogen valleys next to the major industrial centres planning to use hydrogen.

The experts also suggested that Lithuania start mixing hydrogen with natural gas in the gas system, while also starting to develop competences in the field of hydrogen, defining the conditions and instructions for the safe use of hydrogen, and so on.
Hydrogen technology in Lithuania is mainly related to the use of hydrogen in the fertiliser industry, oil refining, the passenger and freight transport sectors, as well as maritime and rail transport. This is why this technology is now considered to be a crucial player in the energy system of the future and is one of the most promising ways to tackle climate change. In addition, the successful application of hydrogen in the market would help reduce Lithuania’s dependence on oil and natural gas imports – a goal that would be implemented as part of the National Energy Independence Strategy.

The meeting included a presentation of forecasts of the results that are expected to stem from the successful development of hydrogen. In order to meet the targets, there are plans to reduce carbon emissions by 5.8 million tonnes and create almost 1,400 new jobs by 2050.
It is also projected that during the 2025-2050 period, the greatest demand for hydrogen technologies will be in the industrial, transport, and electricity and heat sectors. It is also planned that 1 per cent of heavy transport and 25 per cent of public transport will use hydrogen as a fuel in Lithuania’s five major cities by 2030. If Lithuania achieves these results, the European Union would move closer to its goal of becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
Based on the insights of this study, national legislation, guidelines for the development of the Lithuanian hydrogen system and an action plan to 2030 are planned to be drawn up and coordinated with all stakeholders by autumn. During this period, it is also expected to make it possible to supply Europe with hydrogen resources through five international corridors.
After assessing fuel infrastructure needs, preliminary calculations show that the development of hydrogen in Lithuania through 2030 will require EUR 994 million in investments, which are expected to come from the public and private sectors.

The Lithuanian Hydrogen Platform was established on 30 November 2020, when the Minister of Energy signed a cooperation agreement with 19 business associations and companies. In implementing the development of the hydrogen sector in the country, this platform unites representatives of Lithuanian research institutions, business and the public sector.