Pan-European hydrogen pipeline picture comes into focus

The dream of a pan-European hydrogen pipeline has moved a step closer to becoming a reality after Italy and Germany committed to working closely together in matters of energy, said Chancellor Olaf Scholz after meeting his counterpart, Giorgia Meloni, in Berlin.

“It is particularly important to expand the southern corridor for gas and hydrogen,” Scholz added.

To facilitate this, the two countries aim to spearhead “a new pipeline across the Alps” from Bavaria to Tunisia that will “increase the security of supply of both our countries,” the Chancellor said. A secondary agreement to supply gas to one another in times of need will be signed soon as well between Rome and Berlin.

The project was initially advertised by the energy ministers of Austria, Italy, and Germany in a letter sent to Brussels in May, which envisions more than 4 million tonnes of hydrogen transiting through the pipeline, a sizeable amount.

According to reports, the envisioned pipeline will connect demand centres in Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, thereby contributing to “the creation of a more extensive European hydrogen network”.

The connection with Switzerland could require the pipeline to either be routed through there, or the addition of an extra section.