As a CO2-neutral energy carrier, hydrogen is considered a key resource for the success of the climate and energy transition. For this reason, Trans Austria Gasleitung GmbH (TAG) is actively working to advance the enabling of hydrogen transport via the existing infrastructure in Austria and Europe.
TAG makes a significant contribution to the energy supply in Central Eastern Europe, connecting Austria to important energy market areas such as Italy, Slovakia and - via Gas Connect Austria GmbH (GCA) infrastructure - Germany, Hungary and Slovenia. We aim to continue fulfilling this important supply mandate in the future. A look at the current events in Europe shows that the expansion of renewable energy has gained noticeable importance and urgency. In the future, green gases such as hydrogen will be crucial for a climate-friendly and more independent energy supply. Gas transmission system operators such as TAG will play a central role thereto, as hydrogen could be transported via the existing pipeline system in the future.
Expansion of hydrogen supply: Power-to-gas and imports
Power-to-gas technology offers an attractive option for procuring hydrogen. In this process, hydrogen is produced from surplus electricity (e.g. from wind and photovoltaics) and water via electrolysis. Pipeline infrastructure is essential for transport and coupling with the power grids. In the medium to long term, it will also be necessary to enable the import of hydrogen from countries outside of Europe. The required hydrogen can reach Europe via three corridors. TAG is particularly involved with the southern corridor, which connects North Africa with the consumer markets in Austria and Central Eastern Europe via the largely existing infrastructure in Italy and Austria.
Through the distribution of hydrogen, the Baumgarten compressor station would still play a central role in Europe's energy supply in the future. Thus, hydrogen could be transported via Baumgarten from Austria to Germany, Slovakia, and other neighbouring countries.
TAG closely involved in national and European initiatives for hydrogen
An important step on the way to a greener future is the project "H2 Readiness of the TAG pipeline system", which aims to upgrade the TAG pipeline system for hydrogen. This project was already submitted to the European Commission at the end of last year to obtain PCI (Project of Common Interest) status. The TAG project group is also in close coordination with E-Control and public agencies such as the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK).
At the European level, the European Hydrogen Backbone Initiative is also working to promote the expansion of hydrogen in Europe. This group of 31 European energy infrastructure companies has set itself the goal of promoting the European hydrogen supply by renewing and expanding the existing pipeline system. As TAG, we are represented in the consortium for Austria together with GCA.