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Germany plans 1,800 km hydrogen pipeline network: draft government paper

BERLIN, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Germany plans to develop an 1,800 kilometre (1,118 miles) hydrogen energy pipeline network by 2027 with state participation, according to an economy ministry draft strategy paper seen by Reuters on Friday.

The paper also envisages Germany fostering the use of blue hydrogen and importing it during a transition period towards green hydrogen.

Europe's largest economy wants to pivot towards cleaner energy sources and diversify its supplies, especially after the invasion of Ukraine underscored the pitfalls of a heavy reliance on Russian natural gas.

The creation of a hydrogen network company with state participation was needed to build a system that was both fit for purpose and affordable, the paper said. The government will present its plans to industry shortly.

The government also envisages Germany doubling its electrolysis capacity to ten gigawatts by 2030, the paper said.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz in September said Germany wants to create a boom in the use of hydrogen as a way of diversifying its energy sources and to meet its climate goals.

Blue hydrogen is extracted from natural gas and captures the CO2 emissions in underground or subsea storage. It is seen as a transitional approach while green hydrogen, which uses renewable energy for extraction, cannot fully meet demand. Some environmentalists oppose it. (Reporting by Markus Wacket; writing by Matthias Williams; editing by Rachel More)