The European Union is placing its chips on green hydrogen to hit its climate targets. Sights have been set on building hydrogen electrolysers with a total capacity of at least 40 gigawatts (GW) by 2040. This technology uses electricity from renewables to produce green hydrogen, which will contribute to decarbonising manufacturing and transportation. Renewable energy and an infrastructure of pipelines to potential buyers are indispensable to establishing a hydrogen economy. Thanks to the planned expansion of wind energy and the proximity of the north of the Netherlands to a host of industrial hubs, the region can play an important role in this.
RWE is reinforcing the team behind one of Europe's most ambitious hydrogen projects: NortH2. In February 2020, the consortium of companies was launched with the objective of developing a green hydrogen centre for north-western Europe in the northern part of the Netherlands. December 2020 saw the start of RWE bringing its extensive expertise in renewable energy and hydrogen to the table. Further members of the NortH2 consortium include energy companies Shell and Equinor, gas network operator Gasunie, and Groningen Seaports.
The NortH2 partners aim to establish a system consisting of offshore wind farms, electrolysers, gas storage facilities and pipelines with a view to converting electricity from offshore wind to green hydrogen, which is then stored and transported to industrial centres in northwestern Europe. The objective is to build 4 GW of generation capacity by 2030. In so doing, NortH2 can play an important role in achieving the EU's goal of installing hydrogen electrolysers with an aggregate output of at least 40 GW throughout Europe by 2030. Plans envisage increasing NortH2's capacity to over 10 GW by 2040 – enough to produce 1 million metric tons of hydrogen every year. This would reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 8 to 10 million metric tons.
Roger Miesen, CEO of RWE Generation, stated in a press release: "A project like NortH2, which produces green hydrogen to decarbonise industry, can contribute to achieving the Dutch and European climate targets for 2030 and to implementing the Paris agreement. We are committed to ensuring that a hydrogen market can develop rapidly in Europe."
RWE and the NortH2 partners will conduct a feasibility study through to 2021. If its findings are positive, development work could start in the second half of 2021.
In RWE, the NortH2 consortium wins a partner with activities along the entire green hydrogen value chain. RWE Renewables, the world No. 2 in offshore wind, can supply clean electricity. This can be used by RWE Generation to produce green hydrogen, as the company possesses the requisite know-how. And RWE Gas Storage can place hydrogen in its gas storage facilities until RWE Supply & Trading supplies it to industrial buyers on demand.
RWE strengthens one of the most ambitious hydrogen projects in Europe – NortH2
- The NortH2 partners aim to develop a system consisting of offshore wind farms, electrolysers, gas storage units and pipelines.
- This will convert electricity from offshore wind to green hydrogen, which can be stored and supplied to industrial hubs in north-western Europe.
- RWE brings its extensive expertise in renewable energy and hydrogen to the table.
- RWE is conducting a feasibility study until 2021 in collaboration with its NortH2 partners.
Creating powerful green hydrogen infrastructure
- The NortH22 partners' mission is to develop a green hydrogen centre for north-western Europe in the north of the Netherlands.
- NortH2 aims to build 4 gigawatts (GW) of generation capacity by 2030.
- NortH2 can play an important role in achieving the EU goal of installing hydrogen electrolysers with a combined output of at least 40 GW throughout Europe by 2030.