BACKGROUND

The EU has recently set the targets of 55 % reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions and to hit climate neutrality by 2030 and 2050, respectively.

To meet those ambitious targets, Europe must face several challenges such as promote renewable energies and offer new technological solutions for highly polluting economic sectors.

One available solution that contributes to addressing these challenges is the use of hydrogen. Hydrogen can be used as a clean energy carrier, boosting the integration of renewable energies in the energy system. Not only it allows energy storage but it is also a very attractive decarbonisation solution for final applications in industrial sectors, mobility, etc. This is why the Basque Country is making a firm commitment to hydrogen technologies, which is materialised in the publication of the Basque Hydrogen Strategy, the creation of the Basque Hydrogen Corridor initiative or the Hydrogen Sector Forum held by the Basque Energy Cluster, among other initiatives.

Research in the field of hydrogen distribution, transport and storage is crucial to create an economic infrastructure that allows hydrogen to be transported from regions where this raw material is produced at low cost to regions where it is in demand.

Hombre tocando un árbol
Contenedores de hidrógeno
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There are different hydrogen transport and storage options, the suitability of which depends on quantity and distance:

  • Gaseous (compressed), liquid (cryogenic) or liquid carriers.
  • Via pipelines or by tanker trucks, ships or trains.
  • Underground storage.

When high volumes of hydrogen need to be transported over long distances (e.g. between countries) liquid hydrogen carriers are set to be a very attractive solution. Hydrogen is absorbed by a liquid carrier in the region that produces the hydrogen (hydrogenation). Then, the hydrogenated carrier can be transported for example, by sea to the region that needs the hydrogen and later extracted from the carrier (dehydrogenation) in order to be used. Finally, the dehydrogenated carrier returns by sea to the country where the hydrogen was produced to close the cycle.

Infografía portador hidrógeno