28 September 2023

REN certifies gas infrastructure for hydrogen intake

REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN) has already invested 5 million euros in the Asset Compliance Programme under the framework H2REN initiave. This investment aims to certify infrastructure for the transmission, and distribution of gas for hydrogen vehicles.

The main goal is to secure this certification for injections of up to 10% hydrogen mixed with natural gas in the National Gas Transmission Network (RNTG) and the Carriço Underground Storage (AS Carriço) and up to 20% in the Distribution Network managed by REN Portgás by the close of this year.  By the end of 2024, the target is to obtain certification for the conveyance of 100% hydrogen within these infrastructures.

The REN's Asset Compliance Programme establishes the framework for meeting the Portuguese government's energy policy objectives, especially concerning green hydrogen. Certification represents a further advancement in integrating renewable gases into the national gas grid, especially hydrogen, which, in contrast to biomethane, necessitates additional modifications to the infrastructure.

This operation includes a set of technical studies initiated in 2022. The programme, to date, has led to the engagement of over a dozen specialised technical partners. It encompasses the development of systems and technical specifications for the injection of hydrogen into the grid, alongside the analysis of the infrastructure's compliance, and the modification of operational and engineering processes within the gas infrastructure managed by the REN Group. The efforts are being overseen and evaluated by an independent certifying body.

Through this programme, REN has systematically addressed the required modifications and investments in the infrastructure for gas transmission, underground storage, and distribution to facilitate hydrogen integration. This is a pivotal element in the quest fordecarbonising the gas sector and remains fundamental to the success, competitiveness, and future of energy systems.

The REN's Asset Compliance Programme offers technical backing to the investments outlined in the investment plans, which are presented to the Directorate-General of Energy and Geology (DGEG) and assessed by the Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE) in Portugal. These investments are geared towards ensuring the requisite standards of quality and safety for the operation of the gas system integrated with hydrogen.