9.11.2021 09:01
Current News, Projects

Fingrid and Gasgrid launch a joint research project to enable the hydrogen economy

In spring 2021, Finland’s gas and electricity transmission grid operators, Gasgrid Finland and Fingrid, began work to identify opportunities for the hydrogen economy to thrive in Finland and clarify the role of energy infrastructure as an enabler of the hydrogen economy. The collaboration was followed up in tangible form by a research and development project jointly run by Gasgrid and Fingrid. The new project is being executed as part of a wide-ranging research project consortium consisting of several Finnish companies and research institutes. On 28 October, Business Finland awarded a grant for the joint project between Fingrid and Gasgrid, as well as for the larger consortium.

Major emission reductions will be required quickly in order to mitigate climate change. Utilising cleanly produced hydrogen has been identified as a potential means of reducing emissions, and demand for hydrogen is expected to increase significantly, both in Finland and in Europe as a whole.  The hydrogen economy of the future will call for the development and joint planning of energy infrastructure. The joint project by Gasgrid and Fingrid examines the future pathways for the development of hydrogen production and consumption in Finland. The aim is to concretely identify the further developments that will be needed to enable the hydrogen economy from the standpoint of energy systems and market development.

“Finland has excellent position to produce significant amounts of clean, affordable electricity. This gives us a competitive advantage in hydrogen production. A strong electricity transmission grid will enable the hydrogen economy to arise and Finland’s growth potential to be utilised,” says Mikko Heikkilä, Fingrid’s Head of Strategic Grid Planning.

The joint project by Gasgrid and Fingrid is being run as part of a consortium known as Hydrogen and Carbon Value Chains in Green Electrification (HYGCEL), which includes several Finnish companies and universities. Business Finland has awarded a grant for the HYGCEL project consortium, which has a budget of over EUR 10 million. As part of this consortium, the joint project by Gasgrid and Fingrid has received a positive funding decision.

“It is important to develop the most cost-effective energy transmission system for Finnish society in order to promote Finland’s competitiveness and enable the hydrogen economy. Such a system should also enable the operation of a hydrogen transmission grid. Wide-ranging collaboration between companies and research institutes promotes the creation of a functional and competitive marketplace and transmission platform for diverse range of gases in Finland,” says Sara Kärki, Head of Strategic Analysis & RDI at Gasgrid Finland Oy.

The joint project involves envisaging scenarios for the development of Finland’s hydrogen economy and energy transmission system based on summaries of viewpoints gathered from stakeholders on the development of the hydrogen economy. In addition, the project is studying the feasibility of building a hydrogen transmission network and developing the foundations for a hydrogen market and sector integration. The project’s key results will be published. The project will be completed by the end of 2022.

Further information on the joint project by Fingrid and Gasgrid:

Mikko Heikkilä, Head of Strategic Grid Planning, Fingrid, mikko.heikkila@fingrid.fi, tel. + 358 40 637 4720

Eveliina Seppälä, Specialist, Fingrid, eveliina.seppala@fingrid.fi, tel. +358 407707598

Sara Kärki, Head of Strategic Analysis & RDI, Gasgrid Finland Oy, sara.karki@gasgrid.fi, tel. +358 40 158 1722

Venla Partanen, Development Engineer, Strategic Analysis & RDI, Gasgrid Finland Oy, venla.partanen@gasgrid.fi, tel. +358 50 305 3504

For further information on HYGCEL, the entities involved, and Business Finland’s funding decision, see: https://clicinnovation.fi/new-project-hygcel-hydrogen-and-carbon-value-chains-in-green-electrification-received-funding/.