Ministry of Energy takes the lead in preparing national hydrogen development guidelines

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2021 06 08

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In order to ensure the rapid transition of the Lithuanian economy to renewable energy and green transformation in different economic sectors, a national study on the use and development of a new type of renewable energy – hydrogen (H2) – is being initiated by the Ministry of Energy.

The first phase is set to include the preparation of national guidelines for development of the hydrogen sector. A public tender for preparation of the guidelines for development of the Lithuanian hydrogen sector will be announced in the near future.

Hydrogen, which solves the problem of balancing and storing surplus renewable electricity, is planned to become the main source of sustainable energy as the world increasingly switches to renewable energy. This is being done to reduce the impact of climate change on the environment, as provided for in the European Green Deal and Hydrogen Strategy adopted last year.

“Sustainable development is one of Lithuania’s most important priorities, so we already have to look at the perspective of how we will live a few decades from now. This requires systematic planning and consistent joint preparation of different economic sectors for the implementation of strategic reforms and projects. 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,” says Minister of Energy Dainius Kreivys.

In their hydrogen strategies, some EU countries indicate that their hydrogen demand will exceed supply over the next 10 years. It will therefore be relevant to buy and transport hydrogen from the Baltic States, which are seen as potential hydrogen producers due to good opportunities for expanding renewable energy, such as wind farms in the Baltic Sea.

“After coordinating actions and initiatives from different sectors, we must take advantage of this new economic opportunity for our state not only to reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports, but also to become a hydrogen export country,” says Mr Kreivys.

In its letter of expectations, the Ministry of Energy relegated preparation of the guidelines for development of the Lithuanian hydrogen sector to energy transmission and exchange group EPSO-G, anticipating that the existing gas transmission system operated by its subsidiary, gas transmission system operator Amber Grid, will become the main network for transporting green hydrogen gas in Lithuania. At the end of last year, the EPSO-G group prepared and made available to the public a study on electric power system development scenarios through 2050.

Hydrogen gas produced from excess renewable solar and wind electricity and water will be supplied to the gas transmission system. In the gas networks, hydrogen will be stored or transported to customers who will use the hydrogen gas in industrial processes and land, water or air transport, and will also be able to generate their own electricity or heat.

During preparation of the Lithuanian hydrogen development guidelines and development plan, detailed hydrogen demand and supply will be modelled not only for the energy sector, but also for the transport and manufacturing sectors. The guidelines will be developed in close collaboration with institutions and hydrogen platform participants, pooling sectoral expertise.

In order to prepare the guidelines for the development of hydrogen, an overview will have to be performed of the situation in the EU in terms of the factors influencing the development of the hydrogen sector: reduction of CO2 emissions, development of RES, introduction of new technologies, development of transport, interoperability of different systems, and so on. The recommendations, visions and strategies put forward by international organisations for the long-term development of the hydrogen sector in the fields of energy, transport, industry and households will be analysed.

Experts will have to perform an analysis of the potential for the development of hydrogen production and use in Lithuania, covering the entire hydrogen value chain, from hydrogen production opportunities in Lithuania, storage of a new energy carrier, its import and export, and the promotion of investments in hydrogen development to the adaptation of the national infrastructure for hydrogen. Among other things, perspective development scenarios are planned to be modelled for the Lithuanian hydrogen sector through 2050.