HELSINKI, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Finland is to set up a national hydrogen network as part of its bid to attain carbon neutrality by 2035, the country's government said on Wednesday.
Ambitious climate targets set by Finland and the European Union (EU), the rise in energy prices, and the phasing out of Russian fossil energy have accelerated the need to find new energy solutions, it said.
Hydrogen will play an important role in the introduction of emissions-free solutions.
Minister for Finance Annika Saarikko said that the wholly state-owned Gasgrid Finland will begin developing the infrastructure for transferring hydrogen.
"Hydrogen-based solutions enable us to reduce both emissions and the price of energy... We are also improving our energy self-sufficiency. This opening will put Finland at the forefront of the hydrogen economy," said Saarikko.
Gasgrid Finland has so far been in charge of the natural gas infrastructure in Finland.
However, Saarikko noted that the state will not become involved in hydrogen production. This will be done by commercial companies, with Gasgrid Finland establishing a subsidiary for the hydrogen sector.
Olli Sipila, the CEO of Gasgrid Finland, said that meeting the requirements of the hydrogen sector would not cause any electricity shortages in Finland.
Initial plans provide for three regional hydrogen networks: one in the Northwestern area bordering Sweden, one in Southwestern Finland, and one in Southeastern Finland. Construction will begin with a 15-km pilot grid between two existing industrial plants in the Southeast.
No timetable has yet been set to complete the construction, but Sipila said that seven to 10 years would be an ambitious time span for such a project. ■