To cope with the transition of industry and the transport sector, Sweden will need to build a completely new infrastructure for hydrogen. In the report "The role of gas and gas infrastructure in Swedish decarbonisation pathways 2020-2045" which was launched at a webinar in June with Energiforsk, the authors emphasize that this may be one of the largest infrastructure investments Sweden has ever faced.
The report also states that Sweden can become self-sufficient on hydrogen and that the production of it will have its center in electricity area 2. From there, it can be cost-effectively transported to regions where there are industries for which hydrogen is crucial to become fossil-free.
Hydrogen, but also biogas, has a much larger role in the future energy system. One of the strengths of gas is that, on a large scale and over longer distances, it is significantly cheaper to transport than electricity. The cost for gas transport is estimated in previous studies to be 2-4 times lower than for electricity.
- It is socio-economically interesting to invest in infrastructure for hydrogen. The report also increases the insight into how central the hydrogen infrastructure is in both achieving the climate goals and a balanced energy system, says Hans Kreisel, CEO of Nordion Energi.
There will be clear synergies between the hydrogen infrastructure and existing and future electricity networks. Hydrogen production can, for example, use cheap electricity production and alleviate bottlenecks in the electricity grid.
Extensive expansion of hydrogen infrastructure requires several efforts
The study shows that electricity demand in Sweden will almost double to 240-250 TWh by 2045, a large part of which will be used to produce and meet the country's estimated hydrogen demand (50-68 TWh). The expansion of both electricity and hydrogen networks therefore needs to be co-planned and optimized based on customers' needs in different parts of the country.
The expansion of hydrogen infrastructure will be based on several regional, industrial clusters and their hydrogen needs, with a central node in electricity area 2 with at least 40% of the production. The network will then be joint via these clusters into a more cohesive national hydrogen network.
- Important efforts now are to start co-planning the electricity and gas infrastructure, so-called sector coupling, at national level and to start preparing for a model that offers benefits for the society by being open to everyone who wants to join. Furthermore, hydrogen networks should be regulated, just like electricity networks, says Hans Kreisel.
It is also necessary to set clear targets and to develop strategies for hydrogen, offshore wind power and biogas. The Swedish strategies should be developed in alignment with the EU's targets, according to the authors.
Demand for biogas is expected to increase
The existing gas network in southwest Sweden, which is currently used for the transport of natural and biogas, is already dimensioned to manage a long-term increased demand for biogas in the region. The share of biogas in the system increases every year and today accounts for about 30% of the gas traded. The goal is 100% green gas. This network will thus be used for the distribution of biogas and for hydrogen a completely new infrastructure is needed.
About the report
Energiforsk, which is an impartial research company, has led the work on the study "The role of gas and gas infrastructure in Swedish decarbonisation pathways 2020-2045". In the study, experiences have been utilised from the work that Energiforsk is now leading on behalf of the Nordic Council of Ministers to model the future Nordic energy system. The analysis in has been carried out by the consulting company Guidehouse, which has international experience of and have previously carried out similar decarbonisation studies with a focus on gas and the role of gas infrastructure in achieving climate goals. The study is supported by Nordion Energi, Göteborg Energi, Öresundskraft, Kraftringen and Gasnätet Stockholm.
To read the report in full, please visit: https://energiforsk.se/program/vatgasens-roll-i-energi-och-klimatomstallningen/rapporter/the-role-of-gas-and-gas-infrastructure-in-swedish-decarbonisation-pathways-2021-788/
For more information or questions, please contact:
Matilda Danielsson, Communications at Nordion Energi
Tel: 073 842 91 90
 European Hydrogen Backbone: Analysing future demand, supply, and transport of hydrogen. Gas for Climate. Juni 2021. https://gasforclimate2050.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/EHB_Analysing-the-future-demand-supply-and-transport-of-hydrogen_June-2021.pdf