Emission-free hydrogen is a crucial contributor to the decarbonization of the energy supply. To establish a H2 economy, a H2 infrastructure is needed and requires investment and energy policy decisions today. The aim of the paper is to inform these decisions by comparing and contrasting the construction of new H2 pipelines with the repurposing of natural gas pipelines for future H2 ad-mixture.1) feasibility and (2) 1.5°C alignment are proposed as evaluation criteria for effective climate mitigation. The results show that building new H2 pipelines for renewable H2 is feasible and 1.5°C-aligned. Gas pipeline investments for future retrofitting are not recommended due to energy transition risks such as fossil-lock in and asset stranding.
Keywords Hydrogen supply chain, energy transition, re-newable hydrogen, energy infrastructure, transition risk, climate-related risks