Conexus to conduct market study on hydrogen infrastructure development in Latvia

In order to evaluate the potential for hydrogen demand, production, transmission and storage in Latvia, a unified natural gas transmission and storage operator AS Conexus Baltic Grid (Conexus) will conduct a market study. The results will contribute to the further planning of the development of hydrogen infrastructure in Latvia and beyond.

The European Union's (EU) and European Commission's energy transformation and decarbonisation pathway obliges Member States to significantly reduce their GHG emissions in the long term and to promote a transition towards renewable energy. The transformation strategy is based on the development of a hydrogen economy, in which hydrogen will be used as energy carrier and means of storage of renewable energy for future use. EU Member States are currently working on this course, as evidenced by the significant number of hydrogen projects across Europe. Neighbouring countries in our region are also exploring the possibility of creating an industrial "hydrogen valleys", assessing the benefits for producers and consumers of combined storage and transmission infrastructure of so-called "green hydrogen". At the same time, in Lithuania, the Ministry responsible for the sector has presented guidelines for the development of the hydrogen sector in Lithuania for the period 2023-2030, while in Estonia there are plans to create a "hydrogen valley" and to strengthen the role of hydrogen in the renewed National Energy and Climate Plan for 2030. Therefore, it is important that Latvia is also actively working on the research and evaluation of the hydrogen market potential to implement a gradual and proportionate integration of hydrogen into the renewable energy system in a timely manner.

In order to ensure the sustainable and efficient operation of the infrastructure managed by Conexus and to provide the transmission infrastructure needed to transport the produced hydrogen from production to consumption sites, Conexus, together with other national transmission system operators Gasgrid Finland (Finland), Elering (Estonia), Amber Grid (Lithuania), Gaz System Poland (Poland) and Ontras (Germany), has launched the North-Baltic Hydrogen Corridor project, dedicated for creation of the cross-border hydrogen transmission corridor from Finland through Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to Germany by 2030. Conexus is also working on a separate regional hydrogen storage project with a planned capacity of over 10 TWh.

To implement the decarbonisation process as a unified Baltic Sea project, as a part of the aforementioned international project, Conexus, similar to other operators in its North-Baltic Hydrogen Corridor member countries, will conduct a non-binding market study for an initial assessment of the hydrogen infrastructure potential in Latvia, in which all Latvian active entrepreneurs are welcome to participate.

"The market study carried out by Conexus is one of the components of the development of the North-Baltic Hydrogen Corridor project and in which market participants are invited to participate, will help to assess the level of interest of both potential hydrogen producers and consumers in the development of new hydrogen transmission projects, including the readiness to use the hydrogen transmission pipeline and potential hydrogen storage services in 2030, 2035, 2040 and 2050. During the European energy transformation, it is important to assess the potential interactions between future energy and existing infrastructure, because by identifying and studying stakeholder interest in new forms of energy, transmission system operators can model the future development of the sector," explains Uldis Bariss, Conexus Chairman of the Board.

U. Bariss adds that the results will allow to identify possible transmission corridor routes and interconnections, entry points from production facilities, entry/exit points for hydrogen storage, exit points for consumers to meet demand, as well as potential transmission capacity.

The market study organised by Conexus on the hydrogen production, demand, transmission and storage potential in Latvia will run until 1 October 2023. Market participants are invited to complete the survey electronically here