Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “hydrogen”

Break-even Price Natural Gas and Green Hydrogen in Sight

At current natural gas prices of 65 euro/MWh and 60 euro per ton CO2-tax, green hydrogen becomes competitive.

In all the misery of the high (import) gas price, there is also consolation: the break-even price for green hydrogen is now 3 €/kg. Almost all analysts expect that we will be able to produce this alternative to natural gas ourselves for 1-2 €/kg in the not too distant future.

The cumbersome and somewhat random process of looking for new sources of fossil fuel could be almost over and can be replaced by merely sticking a wet finger up in the air, so to speak.

[] – Martien Visser

1 GW Electrolyser in Esbjerg

The port of Esbjerg, bustling with offshore activity.

Esbjerg, the unofficial capital of North Sea offshore wind, will harbor a 1 GW electrolyser to produce green hydrogen from North Sea offshore wind, the largest in Europe. Estimated hydrogen production: 90,000 mt/year. Planned production start date: 2024. Project developer, the Swiss company H2 Energy Europe. The company has experience with producing green hydrogen in Switzerland and fuels a local fleet of 50 trucks, a number that will grow to 1600 in the coming years. H2 Energy partners with the Norwegian electrolyser company Nel Hydrogen.

[] – H2 Energy’s 1 GW Danish green hydrogen project to supply trucks, stations, industry
[] – Large-Scale Offshore Wind-to-Hydrogen Project in Denmark
[] – Major green hydrogen power-to-x facility planned in Esbjerg
[Google Maps] – Esbjerg

$1/kg Hydrogen With E-TAC High-Efficiency Electrolysis

Israeli company H2Pro claims its highly efficient water-splitting technology will deliver green hydrogen at less than US$1 per kilogram before 2030. That’s a big deal; it would represent a 60-80 percent drop in green H2 prices, down to a level where it’s cheaper per unit of energy than current retail gasoline prices in the United States. The Hydrogen Council’s current projections don’t expect that kind of price drop until 2050, and even then it’s a best-case scenario.

[] – H2Pro’s dollar-a-kilo green hydrogen: a 20-year leap in clean energy?

Note that 1 kg of hydrogen contains about 3 times as much energy as 1 kg of gasoline. Additionally, hydrogen can be converted into kinetic energy at an efficiency of up to 60%, where gasoline scores merely 25% at best.

Some caution is well-advised here, as small start-ups are almost forced to be loud in order to attract investment capital. But the development is interesting, nevertheless, because of the pursuing of yet another technological approach. Eventually, the best methods will float to the top.

Electrolytic hydrogen production faces technological challenges to improve its efficiency, economic value and potential for global integration. In conventional water electrolysis, the water oxidation and reduction reactions are coupled in both time and space, as they occur simultaneously at an anode and a cathode in the same cell. This introduces challenges, such as product separation, and sets strict constraints on material selection and process conditions. Here, we decouple these reactions by dividing the process into two steps: an electrochemical step that reduces water at the cathode and oxidizes the anode, followed by a spontaneous chemical step that is driven faster at higher temperature, which reduces the anode back to its initial state by oxidizing water. This enables overall water splitting at average cell voltages of 1.44–1.60 V with nominal current densities of 10–200 mA cm−2 in a membrane-free, two-electrode cell. This allows us to produce hydrogen at low voltages in a simple, cyclic process with high efficiency, robustness, safety and scale-up potential.

H2Pro’s E-TAC hydrogen production system promises a revolutionary jump in water-splitting efficiency, and a 20-year plunge in the cost of clean hydrogen.

[] – Company site
[] – Decoupled hydrogen and oxygen evolution by a two-step electrochemical–chemical cycle for efficient overall water splitting
[] – (pdf) Decoupled hydrogen and oxygen evolution by a two-step electrochemical–chemical cycle for efficient overall water splitting
[] – Israeli Group Develops New Electrolysis Technology
[] – Gates-Backed Startup Joins Race to Make Green Hydrogen Cheaper

Read more…

Yara Birkeland Autonomous Battery Container Vessel

The vessel YARA Birkeland will be the world’s first fully electric and autonomous container ship, with zero emissions. KONGSBERG is responsible for development and delivery of all key enabling technologies including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous ship operations, in addition to the electric drive, battery and propulsion control systems. A 120 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) open top container ship. It will be a fully battery powered solution, prepared for autonomous and unmanned operation. The vessel will reduce NOx and CO2 emissions by reducing diesel-powered truck transport by around 40,000 journeys per year. This eco-initiative will help to meet the UN sustainability goals, and improve road safety and congestion… The ship will also be equipped with an automatic mooring system – berthing and unberthing will be done without human intervention, and will not require special implementations dock-side.

The containers contain mainly fertilizer. (Automatic) loading and unloading the cargo takes about as much time as charging the batteries.

In 2019, the share of hydroelectricity in Norway was 93.4%.

Yara Birkeland operational route, HeroyaLarvik (overland 27 km).

[] – Autonomous Ship Project, Key Facts About Yara Birkeland

Read more…

Germany Signs Hydrogen Deals with Namibia and Egypt

Namibian ambassador Martin Andjaba and federal minister for research Anja Karliczek and the representative for green hydrogen in the BMBF, Stefan Kaufmann © BMBF/Hans-Joachim Rickel

[] – Deutschland und Namibia schließen Wasserstoff-Partnerschaft
[] – Deutschland und Namibia schließen Wasserstoff-Partnerschaft

Germany has signed a deal with Namibia about the production of green hydrogen in former German colony and solar and wind-rich Namibia. Name capital of Namibia: Windhoek, which is Dutch for “windy corner”, what’s in a name. Envisioned start date of green hydrogen production: 2025. Initial German funding: up to 40 million euro. Expected price per kg: 1.50-2.00 euro. Namibia has 3500 solar hours, twice the amount of Germany. Namibia is the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa.

The agreement will come with tangential activities, like seawater desalination and student exchange programs and scholarships.

Renewable energy is clearly a win-win situation for both Europe and Africa, where formerly useless deserts have an unexpected economic value, namely as energy producers, enabling countries like Namibia to follow the example of Arabian oil countries and finally touch serious money.

[] – Siemens Energy supports Egypt to develop Green Hydrogen Industry

Siemens Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company to jointly develop hydrogen-based industry in Egypt with export capability…. Siemens Energy and EEHC will jointly promote investment, technology transfer, and implementation of projects related to hydrogen production, based on renewable energy in Egypt… As part of initial steps, Siemens Energy and EEHC will pursue the development of a pilot project, comprising 100 to 200 MW of electrolyzer capacity, which will help to drive early technology deployment, establish a partner landscape, establish and test regulatory environment and certification, setup off-take relations, and define logistic concepts.

[] – Egypt planning $4bn green hydrogen gas project

Benban solar park, Egypt, 4th largest in the world, 1.65 GW/3.8 TWh/year.

[deepresource] – Germany Embraces the Hydrogen Economy
[deepresource] – Germany Kicks-off Hydrogen Grid
[deepresource] – Germany Allocates €8 Billion for 62 Hydrogen Projects
[deepresource] – World’s First Hydrogen Train Operational in Germany

Read more…

Photocatalysis – Solar Hydrogen Without Panels & Electrolyzer

Oil companies know that their days are numbered… well, as oil companies. So they are facing the choice of either go extinct or reinvent themselves. That’s actually not too difficult a choice to make.

Take Spanish oil and energy giant Repsol. Where northern Europeans are concentrating on their wind resource, Repsol, situated in one of the sunniest countries in Europe, wants to try its luck with our nearest star. Their strategy: try to avoid using solar panels and electrolyzers and use photons for splitting water directly.

In chemistry, photocatalysis is the acceleration of a photoreaction in the presence of a catalyst. In catalysed photolysis, light is absorbed by an adsorbed substrate. In photogenerated catalysis, the photocatalytic activity (PCA) depends on the ability of the catalyst to create electron–hole pairs, which generate free radicals (e.g. hydroxyl radicals: •OH) able to undergo secondary reactions. Its practical application was made possible by the discovery of water electrolysis by means of titanium dioxide (TiO2).

The principle has been known since 1911, discovered by a German scientist Alexander Eibner, when he studied pigments.

However, a breakthrough in photocatalysis research occurred in 1972, when Akira Fujishima and Kenichi Honda discovered electrochemical photolysis of water occurring between connected TiO2 and platinum electrodes, in which ultraviolet light was absorbed by the former electrode, and electrons would flow from the TiO2 electrode (anode; site of oxidation reaction) to the platinum electrode (cathode; site of reduction reaction); with hydrogen production occurring at the cathode. This was one of the first instances in which hydrogen production could come from a clean and cost-effective source.

Repsol is planning to build a 100 kilo/day H2 photocatalytic demo-reactor in Puertollano, Spain and hopes to own a commercially attractive method of producing hydrogen this way by 2030, together with gas grid operator Enagas. Envisioned start date: 2024. By 2028, production should be scaled-up towards 10 tonnes/day. Both companies have secured EU funding for the project.

[] – Repsol and Enagás will develop technology to produce renewable hydrogen
[] – Repsol-Enagas Renewable H2 Project Gets EC’s Financial Backing
[] – Repsol, Enagas secure EU funds for photoelectrocatalytic hydrogen production
[] – ‘Very disruptive’ direct solar-to-hydrogen commercially viable by 2030, says oil group Repsol
[] – Photocatalysis
[] – Photocatalytic water splitting
[] – Repsol
[] – Enagás

Read more…

Turning a Windturbine into a Hydrogen Tap – H2Mare


The German government has awarded Siemens-Energy with 100 million euro to develop an integrated offshore wind-turbine with onboard electrolyser. This makes the location of the wind turbine independent of cabling considerations. The interior of the wind turbine offers more than enough space for large quantities of hydrogen, reducing the number of visits from tanker ships. The R&D activities are taking place within the framework of the H2MARE project.

[] – Siemens wins €100m for offshore wind hydrogen project
[] – Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy to unlock a new era of offshore green hydrogen production
[] – Wie Partner im Leitprojekt H2Mare Wasserstoff direkt auf hoher See produzieren wollen
[] – Wind turbines with integrated electrolyzer demonstrate sustainable hydrogen production at sea
[] – Hydrogen made at the wind turbine
[] – Germany ploughs $117m into Siemens Energy-led bid to develop game-changer hydrogen offshore wind

Nord-Stream 2 Could be Used for Hydrogen


NW-Europe is too densely populated to be self-sufficient in generating renewable energy. It doesn’t need to be, as many potential suppliers are standing by to deliver hydrogen in return for Europe’s rich palette of products. Two potential suppliers are Russia and the Ukraine, who both have unused land in abundance. Germany has already signaled it is interested in hydrogen deals with both countries. The beauty is that transport can be done via existing pipeline infrastructure. An additional benefit is that hydrogen supply can be mixed with natural gas, while gradually increasing the share of hydrogen, achieving a smooth transition.

[] – Germany wants to talk to Russia about using Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline for hydrogen deliveries

Fitch – Netherlands, Australia Global Hydrogen Frontrunners


Nearly 300 H2 tech firms already operating in the Netherlands with projects clustered around Amsterdam and Rotterdam Ports. The Netherlands and Australia are two markets that are leading the regulatory, policy and strategy space for green hydrogen (produced from renewables via electrolysis) and demonstrating supportive traits of growth, Fitch Solutions said.

The Netherlands has an enormous strategic advantage: being Europoort, that is the Gateway to Europe via the Rhine and Maas river delta, connecting the Seven Seas to the largest unified market in the world. What applies to goods, will apply to hydrogen as well. The Netherlands once possessed the 9th largest natural gas field in the world, gas that was distributed via a vast pipeline network all over Western Europe. That network can and will be retrofitted for hydrogen.

[source] Rotterdam is still the largest harbor of the entire Atlantic world (EU+US). Goods from all over the world arrive here first, offering endless opportunities for added value chains, before further shipment into the European hinterland. Rotterdam, for example, harbors the largest oil refinery in Europe. There is good reason to assume that raw hydrogen, shipped into Rotterdam harbor from all over the world, will offer similar opportunities, like the production of ammonia or borohydride.

[] – Netherlands, Australia leading markets for green hydrogen rules and policies: Fitch Solutions
[deepresource] – The Netherlands is Placing its Bets on the Hydrogen Economy
[deepresource] – European Hydrogen Backbone
[deepresource] – Soil High Pressure Hydrogen Storage in the Netherlands

BP Study Hints at Australian Hydrogen for AUD$2/kg

Study* BP confirms Australia’s potential to produce green hydrogen on a large scale at a cost of less than AUD$2/kg (approximately current gas price).

1 AUD = 1.39 USD.

[] – BP Renewable Hydrogen and Ammonia Feasibility Study
[] – Martien Visser

The yellow area would suffice to provide the Netherlands and Belgium with sufficient green hydrogen to meet their entire primary energy needs. According to BP, this can be done at the same price level as with natural gas. Enormous business opportunities are looming for the world’s sunny areas: Australia, Africa, Middle-East, Arizona, Chile. And for those countries that can deliver the solar panels and electrolyser equipment.

20 Polish Solaris Hydrogen Buses for the Netherlands

Busoperator Connexxion has ordered 20 hydrogen buses from the Polish manufacturer Solaris. By the end of this year, they will drive on the roads of the Zeeland province in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands aims at getting all its ** new ** bus transport emission-free before 2025, but things are moving so fast now that it will be hard to find any diesel-driven bus at all by 2025, old or new.

[] – Slechts 425* kilometer bereik voor waterstofbussen Zuid-Holland

Detailed Overview Dutch Hydrogen Projects

The Netherlands is betting big on a future with hydrogen as a substitute for natural gas, the existing infrastructure of which will be reused for hydrogen, and to be connected to the European Hydrogen Backbone. The renewable electricity inputs will most comes from North Sea wind.

Below, detailed overviews of hydrogen projects currently underway in the Netherlands:

[] – Overview of Hydrogen Projects in the Netherlands (May 2021, pdf 150p)
[] – Excelling in Hydrogen, Dutch technology for a climate-neutral world (2021, pdf, 100p)

New RWE Hydrogen Manager is Thinking Big

New RWE-Manager Sopna Sury plans gigantic hydrogenfactories in West-Germany. RWE, together with partners, is running more than 30 hydrogen projects in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

[] – RWE: Diese Frau will das Ruhrgebiet zur Wasserstofffabrik Deutschlands machen
[] – Dr. Sopna Sury
[] – Dr. Sopna Sury
[] – Wie Frau Sury das Ruhrgebiet zum Wasserstoff-Wunderland machen will

Read more…

Winlaton-UK Hydrogen Pilot

Winlaton, near Newcastle-UK, has been selected for a hydrogen demonstration project that will involve 650 homes. Hydrogen will be mixed with natural gas and its share increased from initially 2% to 20% in the coming days. This share of 20% can be accomplished without having to adapt current infrastructure.

If successful, the experiment will be rolled out over the rest of the UK, as hydrogen becomes available.

[] – Village becomes first in the country to burn HYDROGEN in boilers and hobs in trial that could be rolled out to millions of homes in next few years

Read more…

Ireland to get 3.2 GW Green Hydrogen Terminal

[source] Aerial picture of the existing oil terminal at Bantry Bay

Irish renewable energy company EI-H2 aims to develop 3.2 GW hydrogen storage, in a joint-venture with US giant Zenith Energy at Bantry Bay, next to an existing oil terminal. In the first phase, a 2.7 GW hydrogen facility will be build. In the second phase, 500 MW worth of ammonia will follow. The hydrogen plant will be sourced by renewable offshore wind.

Time path: 2028.

[] – EI-H2 and Zenith announce plans for ‘green hydrogen’ plant in Bantry Bay
[] – Zenith Energy and EI-H2 Announce Joint Venture for Green Energy Facility at Bantry Bay
[Google Maps] – Bantry Bay

Soil High Pressure Hydrogen Storage in the Netherlands

Soon the first practical test in the Netherlands (and Europe!) with hydrogen storage under high pressure in a cavern of Energy Stock (@Gasunie). A special valve (wellhead) has recently been installed for this purpose. To learn by practise!

Depth: 1270 m
Energy: 3 TWh
Location: Veendam
Participants: Gasunie, EU

[] – High-pressure hydrogen storage in the soil
[] – HyStock Waterstofopslag
[] – 16 project slides
[] – Hydrogen storage in salt caverns, phd (pdf, 100p)
[] – Hartmann GmbH Valves

[] – Hydrogen backbone Netherlands

[] – Gasunie hydrogen backbone can be in place as early as 2027

The Gasunie hydrogen backbone is an essential element in the European hydrogen backbone, transporting North Sea-sourced green hydrogen into Europe.


Sign of the Times – Olympic Hydrogen Flame

UAE First Green Hydrogen Production Site

Siemens/DEWA project in Dubai, pretty impressive pictures. Formerly useless deserts becoming all of a sudden very interesting, from an energy perspective.

Sheikh Rashid is quoted to have said:

“My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I ride a Mercedes, my son rides a Land Rover, and my grandson is going to ride a Land Rover, but my great-grandson is going to have to ride a camel again.”

Could be too pessimistic.

[] – Dubai inaugurates green hydrogen plant
[] – Green Hydrogen Project: clean fuel from solar power in Dubai

Russian Ambitions to Become Major EU Hydrogen Supplier

[source] Vladimir Putin and Anatoly Chubais

MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. Russia will be able to occupy the developing European hydrogen market, if it creates an efficient hydrogen industry, special envoy of the Russian President for relations with international organizations on achievement of sustainable development goals Anatoly Chubais said on Monday… According to Chubais, Russia’s share of the European hydrogen market could amount to $20-30 bln… When asked about the preferred technology of hydrogen production in Russia… “It is right for Russia to start with blue [hydrogen] and then gradually increase the share of green”… But in the future, electrolysis plus renewable energy will provide economic benefits, he noted. “Russia has fantastic opportunities for renewable energy. Russia is the number one country in the world in terms of wind potential,” Chubais said.

Well, mr Chubais, what are you waiting for? The advantage Russia has, is a vast pipe-line network, that can be reused for hydrogen delivery to Europe. Western Europe has space problems, that could prevent the EU to achieve 100% renewable energy production within its own borders, and if somebody else can produce cheaper, why not? 100% decarbonization remains the goal, but that doesn’t necessarily imply 100% autarkic hydrogen production.

[] – Russia has chance to take over European hydrogen market
[] – Anatoly Chubais

De Nieuwe Waterstofeconomie Biedt Grote Kansen

Doorwrocht overzichtsartikel over de waterstofeconomie.

[] – De Nieuwe Waterstofeconomie Biedt Grote Kansen

Post Navigation