Breaking the rules to foster green hydrogen innovation


The Danish Energy Agency has announced, today, that Denmark-based energy companies GreenLab Skive and Brande Brint have been awarded permission to develop power-to-X pilot projects without having to comply with Denmark's energy legislation.

The agency defined the move as a historical decision, as it is the first time such a measure has been taken, and said the special conditions granted to these projects were conceived as a transitional scheme that is intended at proving that their respective concepts work out and can be transferred to an even larger scale. The areas hosting the two projects were designated as “regulatory test zones.” 

GreenLab is developing an industrial and energy park in which the renewable electricity produced is used for several power-to-X facilities, including green hydrogen production, and is shared among several industrial players. The energy park will utilize a smart grid solution that lets all interested parties share their surplus energy resources with each other, and a ‘plug-and-play' cloud solution that is claimed to enable businesses to optimize consumption via a platform that integrates multiple data streams.

GreenLab can now test innovative business models or new technology that have so far encountered barriers under the current regulatory framework,” the company itself said in a statement, adding that, through this approach, the setting up of joint energy production and consumption can be achieved without negatively affecting the existing power network and other consumers.

Brande Brint is setting up green hydrogen production in partnership with Spanish power electronics specialist Gamesa, a unit of German conglomerate Siemens. It is being deployed at Siemens' Danish headquarters in Brande, western Denmark, and includes a 3 MW wind power plant and a 400 kW electrolyzer.

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“Brande Brint and GreenLab Skive are the first to join a test scheme where companies' projects are exempted from a number of current rules and regulations in the field of energy,” the Danish Energy Agency stated. “This allows them to gain concrete experience that can be used to improve the regulations themselves.”

The Danish government began supporting pilot large scale hydrogen projects in late 2019. In February, the Danish fund Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners unveiled a plan to build Europe’s largest power-to-X facility. The project is planned to be located in Esbjerg, on the west coast of Denmark, and the power-to-X-facility should convert electricity from offshore wind turbines to green ammonia, which would then be used by the agriculture sector as green fertilizer and by the shipping industry as a green fuel.

In March of this year, Danish gas transmission system operator Evida announced it will exempt homeowners and individuals that want to abandon gas and choose renewable energy for heating, from paying the grid disconnection fee. The scheme will be run on a first-come, first-served basis.

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