Germany and Italy to collaborate on the development of a hydrogen and gas pipeline across the Alps to strengthen long-term energy supply security and transformation.
German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni signed the Action Plan for Strategic Cooperation, which structures the energy partnership between the two countries, focusing on five areas of interest. These include:
- Technology, competition, and social cohesion
- Climate protection
- Global partnerships
- Societal and cultural relations between the two countries
Under the action plan, Germany and Italy will support the “diversification of energy supply and the expansion of energy connectivity in the European market.” They also seek to develop pipelines between the two countries (via Austria or Switzerland), focusing on the South Central Corridor, which connects southern Germany and Italy with North Africa.
“It is particularly important to expand the southern corridor for gas and hydrogen. With a new pipeline across the Alps, we want to increase the security of supply in both our countries,” said Scholz during a press conference in Berlin on Nov. 22, 2023.
The corridor is meant to expand cross-border gas and hydrogen transport infrastructure, allowing Europe to import 10 million tons of hydrogen by 2030. This will create greater opportunities for imports of renewable energy from North Africa. It will also connect demand centers in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria, which can help establish a more extensive European hydrogen network.
To support expansion efforts, Germany and Italy will also increase the production of renewable energy, gas, and hydrogen in North Africa.
“I think this is an excellent message that we are sending to all of Europe. These two great European states show that they want to strengthen their partnership, that they want to have an intensive dialogue with each other on the most important issues at European and world level, at a fundamental time for our continent,” added Giorgia Meloni during the conference in Berlin.