This photo shows turbines in the Borkum Riffgrund 2 wind farm, in which Orsted has a 50% stake.
CharlieChesvick | iStock unpublished | Getty Images
Danish energy company Orsted wants to build a large offshore wind farm in the North Sea and connect it to so-called “renewable” hydrogen production on mainland Europe, with the project being supported by several large industrial companies.
According to the proposals submitted on Wednesday, Orsted would develop a 2 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind turbine with an electrolyser capacity of 1 GW, The company’s claim that its plans would result in “connecting one of the world’s largest renewable hydrogen plants to industrial demand”.
The electrolysis part of the project, which is to be built in two 500-megawatt phases, would use electricity from the wind farm to generate hydrogen.
Among other things, the partners involved in the development have to carry out a full feasibility study for SeaH2Land, while Orsted does not yet have to make a final investment decision. If everything goes smoothly and the project gets the green light, both parts of the electrolyser could be operational by 2030.
“As the world moves towards decarbonisation, it is of the utmost importance that we act now to ensure the long-term competitiveness of European industry in a green economy,” said Martin Neubert, Orsted’s chief commercial officer, in a statement.
Hydrogen is described by the International Energy Agency as a “versatile energy carrier” and has a wide range of applications and can be produced in different ways.
One method involves the use of electrolysis, where an electrical current splits water into oxygen and hydrogen. If the electricity used comes from a renewable source such as wind or sun, some refer to it as “green” or “renewable” hydrogen.
In recent years, a number of companies have shown interest in renewable hydrogen-related projects, while large economies like the European Union have plans to install at least 40 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers by 2030.
In March a large plant for green hydrogen in Germany Operations started. The German steel giant is involved in the so-called “WindH2” project Salzgitter, AEON Subsidiary Avacon and Linden tree, a company specializing in engineering and industrial gases.
Elsewhere, a subsidiary of a multinational building materials company HeidelbergCement worked with researchers from Swansea University to install and operate a demonstration unit for green hydrogen at a location in the UK
The interest in hydrogen is not limited to Europe. In a speech last November, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country had proposed launching what he called a “major national hydrogen energy mission”.
Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister, presented the country’s budget earlier this year, referring to Modi’s announcement. “It is now proposed to start a hydrogen energy emission to generate hydrogen from green electricity sources in 2021-22.”
India’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter on the planet, India’s attempt to use hydrogen and other renewable technologies – aiming for 450 GW of renewable capacity by 2030 – would mean a significant shift for the country if fully realized.