Toward ‘HydroGenewables’ in Norway

H2 projects in Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal and France

Card with Hydrogen Goals

In June 2020, the German government adopted a national hydrogen strategy, spelling out clear ambitions, concrete targets and a solid plan of action for the next 20 years, including an increase in production capacity to 5 gigawatts by 2030 and 10 gigawatts by 2040. Overall, the country will invest EUR 9 billion in new business and R&D ventures. By 2050, hydrogen produced in Germany could cost less than EUR 1 per kilogram.

Other countries in Europe and worldwide have since followed suit. Portugal approved its own national strategy, aiming to pour EUR 7 billion into the sector by 2030. In the Netherlands, discussions have centered on converting the Magnum power plant into a 1.2-gigawatt H2 production facility. And two Dutch provinces, Groningen and Drenthe, announced a EUR 2.8 billion plan to set up a Hydrogen Valley in the north of the country. Worldwide, many countries have either announced their hydrogen strategies or are preparing them. For example, very recently, Canada has announced its hydrogen strategy, together with Hydro-Québec announcing plans to construct a 90 megawatt-electrolyzer facility to supply green hydrogen (11,100 metric tonnes) and (88,000 metric tonnes) oxygen annually to the Recyclage Carbone Varennes plant project in Québec.

Meanwhile, as part of REFHYNE, ITM Power will construct the world’s biggest electrolyzer at Germany’s largest refinery, Shell Rheinland Raffinerie in Wesseling. Once complete, the 10-megawatt PEM system is expected to produce around 1,300 tons of green hydrogen a year. The project will allow stakeholders to perform key economic, technical and environmental impact assessments, craft new business models, analyze the technology’s implications for policy, and make project findings available throughout the EU.

In France, Siemens and Engie will build a EUR 15 million power-to-X-to-power facility that will use clean grid energy and electrolysis to produce and store hydrogen gas. Another project called HyAMMED, or “Hydrogène à Aix-Marseille pour une Mobilité Écologique et Durable,” will see Air Liquide construct Europe’s first 700-bar fueling station for long-haul trucking. After coming online, the station will reportedly produce 1,000 kilograms of hydrogen and allow for 20 fill-ups in 24 hours.

European Green Deal

Truly, July 8, 2020, was a day for the history books. Not only did the European Union launch “a hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe” as part of its Green Deal but also announced two other important initiatives – the Energy System Integration plan and the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, or E2CH2A. The overall goal is to establish a European hydrogen economy and to make the euro the currency of choice on the global market. The industry-led E2CH2A will promote investments in hydrogen production and application, help get large projects off the ground and speed up decision-making, as well as address challenges and barriers to innovation [2].

All three initiatives offer a unique opportunity for using wind- and PV-sourced renewable hydrogen (RH2) to supply fuel and chemical feedstock throughout Europe and to store energy in salt caverns. Clean hydrogen production capacity is projected to grow to 1 million tons by 2024 and 10 million by 2030, that is, 6 and 40 gigawatts by 2024 and 2030, respectively. Adding in 40 gigawatts produced in neighboring countries, 2030 capacity will reduce CO2 emissions by 100 million tons.

The total cost of kick-starting a European hydrogen economy is estimated at EUR 430 billion, with initial EU investments coming to EUR 96 billion. The money will go toward electrolyzers (13 percent), offshore (47 percent) and onshore wind (25 percent) and solar PV (15 percent). The aim is to produce 4.4 million tons of RH2 in the EU. An additional EUR 91.5 billion will be spent producing 4 million tons in Ukraine and North Africa.

… Read more in the latest H2-International e-Journal, Feb. 2021

Author: Bruno G. Pollet

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

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