In a move that could ease the way for Europe's transition to hydrogen as a fuel source, Portugal's REN has started adapting its high-pressure natural gas grid to allow it to carry an up to 10% share of green hydrogen as early this year, the company said last week.
REN said its strategy for renewable gases, in line with European Union policies, is based on "adapting existing infrastructures to accommodate these gases and the development of infrastructures for 100% hydrogen".
Portugal's government plans to hold its first auction in the second half of this year for the rights to sell green hydrogen, which is produced using renewable energy, for injection into national gas grids.
While the auction aims to boost investment in green hydrogen, REN — the only operator that transports high-pressure natural gas and operates the interconnections with Spain — has to adapt its 1,375-kilometer (854-mile) grid across mainland Portugal so it can cope with a mixture of natural gas and hydrogen.
Portuguese gas distributor Portgás initiated studies on the injection of hydrogen in the gas network in 2021.