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Energy efficiency


Connecting the Danish hydrogen sector to Europe

Establishing a Danish pipeline infrastructure for hydrogen will ensure a cost-effective, large-scale, and steady distribution of green hydrogen to users in both Denmark and Europe.
18 September 2023

To ensure that the vast amounts of Danish-produced green hydrogen make it from producers to users, efficient means of transportation will be necessary. Initially, while the sector is still developing, hydrogen can be transported on trucks and ships.

However, with the rapid scale-up of hydrogen projects throughout Denmark, pipeline infrastructure will be the cheapest, and for larger projects the only viable means of transportation.

Joint Danish-German declaration of intent

The joint Danish-German declaration of intent, signed in Copenhagen on 24 March 2023, marks the first step towards a land-based cross-border pipeline for the export of Danish hydrogen to northern Germany and beyond.

The pipeline could become a part of the larger ‘European Hydrogen Backbone’ project, which aims to connect hydrogen infrastructure throughout the EU.

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Hydrogen infrastructure in Denmark

The Danish government is leading the way by working towards establishing the necessary framework for a market-based roll-out of hydrogen infrastructure. Recently, the government reached an agreement that ensures public ownership and operation of future hydrogen infrastructure in Denmark. The two state-owned gas system operators, Energinet and Evida, will build and operate the infrastructure based on the market demand for pipelines.

Energinet will connect cross-border hydrogen infrastructure, offshore infrastructure, and cross-border pipelines across Denmark to a storage facility.

Evida will connect national hydrogen producers and users to the interconnected Danish hydrogen system. Building up hydrogen infrastructure can happen in part through retrofitting existing methane gas pipelines as they become redundant with the expected reduction of production and demand for methane in Denmark.

Gas storage Denmark

Storing gas in Denmarks underground salt caverns

At the Lille Thorup gas storage site in Denmark, natural gas is currently stored in underground
salt caverns.

Gas Storage Denmark, the operator of the site, is exploring the conversion of sections of the existing storage facility from natural gas to hydrogen.

As a start, one cavern will be repurposed. It is anticipated that two or more additional caverns will undergo repurposing to meet future supply and demand.

Photo credit: Gas Storage Denmark

Hydrogen can solve the challenge of renewable energy storage

Hydrogen pipelines have an inherent capability to serve as storage by pressurising the pipeline. Additionally, parts of the Danish underground have unique properties which can be utilised to store hydrogen. Today, large natural underground chambers known as salt caverns are used to store pressurised methane gas. As the demand for natural gas decreases, the possibility of storing hydrogen could become relevant. Such large-scale storage would offer possibilities for flexible operation of electrolysers in coordination with electricity markets while ensuring a stable, continuous supply of hydrogen to Danish consumers, producers of e-fuels, and neighbouring countries.

Regional interconnection of infrastructure: the key to a greener Europe

Hydrogen distribution plays a major part in ensuring a green future for Denmark as well as its neighbours. A border-crossing infrastructure along with Danish renewable energy resources will allow Denmark to export green hydrogen across Europe. The REPowerEU plan — with its target of 10 million tonnes of domestic hydrogen production and a further 10 million tonnes in imports by 2030 — highlights the need for an efficient infrastructure network across borders.

Green hydrogen is Danish hydrogen

This case is a part of the white paper “Green hydrogen is Danish hydrogen”. Discover Denmark’s plans to produce green fuels and decarbonise global transport and energy-intensive industries.

Explore the white paper

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