Adapting Infrastructure: a vital lever for providing flexibility

By Engie - 18 September 2023 - 12:09

Injecting biomethane or synthetic methane into gas networks, or storing them, requires no adaptation of existing infrastructures – contrary to hydrogen, which necessitates such transformations and even the creation of dedicated networks.


Biomethane and synthetic methane are directly compatible with existing gas infrastructures. Hence, they enable rapid and cost-effective decarbonization by connecting production units to the gas distribution network. In France, for example, over 500 biomethane production sites are already connected, with an annual capacity of approximately 9 TWh, equivalent to nearly two nuclear reactors.

Network managers facilitate the development of biomethane by increasing injection points. When they do this, they also install booster stations to prevent network saturation. The role of these stations is to compress excess gas and redirect it to the transport network, which is then sent to more distant consumption areas or storage facilities.

Hydrogen is a specific case. Its industrial-scale production requires the establishment of dedicated transport and storage infrastructures, as well as the conversion of certain parts of methane networks. As a participant in the European H2 Backbone initiative, ENGIE is supporting the deployment of a network spanning nearly 40,000 km, covering 21 countries, two-thirds of which would consist of converted existing infrastructures.



Did You Know?

The BarMar underwater pipeline project, running from Barcelona to Marseille, will transport hydrogen over more than 400 km, contributing to the European Union’s ambitious goal of consuming 20 million tons of hydrogen by 2030. Estimated cost: 2.5 billion euros.