A new, revolutionary process developed by the Swedish steel industry could be a viable and competitive way to use hydrogen to displace coal and other fossil fuels in steelmaking. It would lower the carbon footprint of 1 ton of steel from 1.8 tons of CO2 to 25 kilograms.
Natural gas and hydrogen have much in common, but can a gas power station be adapted for hydrogen use? One organization that has been trying to answer this question since the summer is the Vattenfall energy corporation. In partnership with Gasunie, a Dutch gas infrastructure services business, and Statoil, a Norwegian oil company, it aims to examine whether a retrofit is technically feasible.
Construction of MEKS, Sperenberg’s multi-energy power plant, now entirely hinges on state government approval. In mid-July, the mayors of the four German towns involved signed a contract for the establishment of a community working group. But whereas local authorities would certainly welcome MEKS, the ones at state level have put a hold on the project, saying the selected area was not suitable for the construction of wind power facilities.
While the further development of the H2 and FC technology is diligently perfected in the laboratories and workshops using new catalyst materials or production processes, elsewhere – just as diligently – discussions are taking place about the political framework conditions. In spring 2015, it was decided in Brussels that in the future, during the refining of fuels, hydrogen which is produced from renewable energies will gain a multiple offsetting against the biofuel quota, but “only” by a factor of two and not – as requested by many – by a factor of four.