The H2Mare flagship project coordinated by Siemens Energy that aims to develop an offshore wind turbine with an integrated electrolyser to produce green hydrogen – and build a whole value chain to support it – will receive €100m ($117m) from Germany’s science ministry.

Siemens Energy and its majority-owned Siemens Gamesa wind operation in January unveiled plans to build a full-scale demonstrator by 2025/26 based around the OEM’s 14MW turbine with an electrolyser at the base of the turbine tower.

Executives from the two companies earlier told Recharge the long -term plan is to replace the offshore oil & gas sector with giant fleets of the hydrogen turbines.

Two of the new machines are slated to be installed by utility RWE at the AquaPrimus sub-project of the giant AquaVentus offshore wind to hydrogen plan that aims at eventually producing green H2 from up to 10GW of offshore wind farms in the North Sea near the German island of Heligoland.

“Together with our partners, we want to establish the production of green hydrogen offshore with H2Mare,” Siemens Energy chief executive Christian Bruch said.

“We are bringing in our offshore wind and electrification capabilities as well as our expertise in electrolysis. H2Mare unites the strengths of research and industry – for sustainable decarbonisation of the economy and to the benefit of the environment.

“We need the support of politics to drive forward innovative solutions for a green hydrogen economy.”

Siemens Energy is coordinating the H2Mare projects, which is supported by Fraunhofer research institutes and comprises four joint projects with 35 partners.

The projects range from wind energy generation and hydrogen production to the conversion of hydrogen into methane, liquid hydrocarbons, methanol, or ammonia right up to use in industry or the energy sector.

Various industrial downstream uses and storage options are also possible, the Fraunhofer IWES institute said in a statement. The goal is a significant cost advantage in the production of large volumes of hydrogen.

H2Mare is one of three flagship projects supported by the science ministry, which between them are being supported by up to €740m.

H2Mare consists of four projects:

OffgridWind: Pursues implementation of a concept with electrolysis directly at the offshore wind turbine, aiming for a high degree of efficiency.

H2Wind: The development of a PEM (proton exchange membrane) electrolysis system optimally adapted to the offshore environment and tuned to the wind turbine. In addition to the durability of the turbines and the challenge of processing seawater, maximum yield of energy is one of the project’s goals.

PtX-Wind: In contrast to pure offshore hydrogen production, the focus here is on conversion to more easily transportable, synthetic energy carriers and fuels, such as methane, methanol, and ammonia. The power-to-X products are produced via high-temperature electrolysis and CO2 extraction from the air or sea. Direct saltwater electrolysis is also being tested.

TransferWind: TransferWind addresses the transfer of knowledge to the public as well as the exchange of expertise across projects. It also considers safety and environmental issues as well as infrastructure requirements.

Source: Fraunhofer IWES