The potential role of a hydrogen network in Europe

Fabian Neumann*, Elisabeth Zeyen, Marta Victoria, Tom Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Europe's electricity transmission expansion suffers many delays, despite its significance for integrating renewable electricity. A hydrogen network reusing the existing gas network could not only help to supply the demand for low-emission fuels but could also balance variations in wind and solar energies across the continent and thus avoid power grid expansion. Our investigation varies the allowed expansion of electricity and hydrogen grids in net-zero CO 2 scenarios for a sector-coupled European energy system, capturing transmission bottlenecks, renewable supply and demand variability, and pipeline retrofitting and geological storage potentials. We find that a hydrogen network connecting regions with low-cost and abundant renewable potentials to demand centers, electrofuel production, and cavern storage sites reduces system costs by up to 26 bn€/a (3.4%). Although expanding both networks together can achieve the largest cost reductions, by 9.9%, the expansion of neither is essential for a net-zero system as long as higher costs can be accepted and flexibility options allow managing transmission bottlenecks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1793-1817
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Europe
  • PyPSA
  • carbon-neutrality
  • energy system modeling
  • energy systems
  • hydrogen network
  • pipeline retrofitting
  • renewable energy
  • sector-coupling
  • transmission


Dive into the research topics of 'The potential role of a hydrogen network in Europe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this