It is barely two weeks old, but 2021 is already shaping up as another year of stunning ambition and growth for the emerging global hydrogen sector in its full spectrum of colours.
The hue dearest to Recharge’s heart is, of course, green, and the renewable hydrogen sector got a huge early-year boost when Siemens Gamesa and its parent group Siemens Energy announced they will put their joint heft behind developing a “game-changing” system for offshore wind turbine-based H2 production.
The Siemens duo aim to have a demonstrator operating by 2026, adding to a growing momentum behind offshore wind-based green hydrogen production that has already this year seen Siemens Gamesa separately ally with Orsted and othersto develop a “fully-marinised” set-up, and the advance of a pioneering wind-to-hydrogen project off Norway.
A further glimpse of the future came when a Danish consortium unveiled a rendering of what could be the world’s first ‘energy island’, with the potential to marry hydrogen production to vast amounts of offshore wind.
Not everyone is convinced, however. Analysts at Rystad Energy pointed out that the cost-case for green H2 from offshore turbines simply doesn’t stack upright now, although it admits that could change – which if the history of power prices from offshore wind is repeated, you wouldn’t bet against.
The new year kicked off with plenty of green hydrogen ambition on land as well as at sea.
Industrial gas giant Linde said it will build what’s claimed at 24MW to be the world’s largest electrolyser so far to produce green hydrogen at a chemical plant in Germany.
Further south, two of the biggest names in European energy teamed up to plan France’s largest green hydrogen plant, with oil supermajor Total and utility giant Engie planning to tap 100MW of solar to power 40MW of electrolysers.
Engie separately revealed it is involved in an even more ambitious 1GW solar, hydrogen and storage planwith French developer Neon, while a unit of compatriot utility EDF said it will pioneer the first green H2 initiative in the Italian steel sector– adding to the momentum behind renewable hydrogen as a route to decarbonisation for the heaviest of industries.
As the sheer pace of the hydrogen sector’s evolution makes it hard to keep up, Recharge is here to help with unrivalled coverage such as our recent overview of the world’s biggest green H2 projects.
The year ahead will bring more insights like our in-depth analysis of the EU’s pivotal hydrogen strategy that was unveiled last year, as well as events such as the Recharge Digital Roundtable on the merits of green H2 versus the blue variety from abated fossils.