Italy-based energy infrastructure operator Snam and national multi-utility company Hera Group signed a Letter of Intent for a technological collaboration aimed at developing hydrogen, for their own areas of activity respectively. The aim is to test and subsequently implement a number of solutions able to respond to the decarbonization needs of the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy in a cross-cutting manner, from production to mobility to individual citizens.
This agreement will also contribute to promote the development of renewable energies in Italy, in line with the guidelines set out by the European Union.
The accord involves several areas of action, starting from the collaboration on power-to-gas technology. Specifically, an innovative plant is at an advanced stage of design at the Bologna Corticella multi-utility treatment plant, which will transform excess renewable electricity into green hydrogen to be injected into the networks by exploiting purified water and returning oxygen, biogas and sludge to the water purification process, thus obtaining a mutually beneficial symbiosis between the two plants, with an additional environmental benefit.
In the industrial field, the two companies will also study the application of hydrogen for thermal uses in the most energy-intensive sectors and with processes that are difficult to electrify.
Other options under study include the creation of plants to extract green hydrogen from water, using the renewable energy generated by the Hera Group’s waste-to-energy plants, with the aim of contributing to the decarbonisation of industrial sectors such as the production of fertilisers and fuels.
Finally, the Letter of Intent provides for a possible joint experimentation of injecting a mixture of natural gas and hydrogen into a portion of Hera’s distribution network in Emilia-Romagna, similar to what Snam has already done on its own transmission network. At the heart of this experimentation is the gas network of Modena.
The agreement with Hera is part of the collaboration we are starting with energy and industrial companies to develop hydrogen-related technologies and implement projects in different areas of the Italian territory. Hydrogen will be a decisive element, together with electricity from renewable sources, to enable Europe to become the first continent with net zero emissions by 2050. Snam intends to contribute to this path, by providing its infrastructure, combined with its skills and innovation capacity, to create a national hydrogen supply chain capable of accelerating the path to decarbonisation and create new opportunities for development and employment.—Marco Alverà, CEO of Snam
With this partnership we wish to concretely contribute to the development of the hydrogen option to pursue the carbon neutrality of the territories, consistent with the commitment to sustainable development that has always guided our actions. Signing this protocol is part of the strategy outlined in our 2024 Business Plan, which calls for numerous actions and investments for energy transition and environmental protection in line with European strategies and the objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda. Green gases, including hydrogen, are a particularly interesting frontier for us because we operate in several businesses: by making available our cross-sector expertise and our extensive infrastructure platform we can create innovative examples of carbon neutral circularity among supply chains.— – Stefano Venier, CEO of the Hera Group
This agreement is likely subject to subsequent binding agreements that the parties will define in compliance with the applicable regulatory profiles.