EU Firms in Alliance for Green Hydrogen

15.03.2021 - Seven companies from the European GET H2 hydrogen initiative, including chemical producer Evonik, have established a consortium to help promote industrial offtake of climate-friendly green hydrogen from renewable energies.

The participants, who are seeking funding through the Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI program, are supporting bundled projects that they say could avoid up to 16 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030.

As part of the planning for a European hydrogen economy, the consortium, which also includes BP, Nowega, OGE, RWE, Salzgitter Flachstahl and Thyssengas, wants to build a cross-border infrastructure that would enable production of green hydrogen for use in transportation as well as in industry.

Between 2024 and 2030, facilities would be linked along a corridor from Lingen to Gelsenkirchen, both in Germany, and from the Dutch border to Salzgitter, Germany. At Lingen, German energy group RWE produces green hydrogen via an electrolysis plant. From 2024, this will be used to supply the BP refinery in Gelsenkirchen.

Most of the transport will take place via existing gas grid lines, which are to be converted to hydrogen transport. In 2025, the plan is to extend the network to the German-Dutch border, where in 2026 RWE will integrate a cavern storage facility in Gronau-Epe. By 2030, the network is to be extended to the Salzgitter steelworks and, if necessary, connected to other networks.

To make the hydrogen economy a reality, the planners stress that a regulatory framework is needed; however, Evonik said a draft passed by the German federal cabinet at the beginning of February does not far enough as it does not provide for an overarching regulation of gas and hydrogen networks with a uniform gas and hydrogen network fee.

Implementation of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive 2 by the German government is seen as an important step toward making the rapid use of green hydrogen economically viable for refineries through corresponding demand in the transport sector, the initiative said.  

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist