The European Commission is betting on a mix of technological superiority and cooperation with Africa to bring the cost of green hydrogen below €1.80 per kilogram this decade, while producing 10 million tons. “More than 200 new hydrogen projects have been announced globally,” said commission president Ursula von der Leyen during European hydrogen week. “Fifty-five per cent of them are in Europe … As a result, Europe is now the world leader in patents and publications on this technology. Some of the largest electrolyzers of this new kind are already operating in Europe.” On the first day of the event, European Union officials said the bloc should surpass its 2030 targets, capitalizing on the opportunity offered by high natural gas prices. “Because of the current rise in gas prices we all see, green hydrogen today can even be cheaper than grey hydrogen,” von der Leyen said yesterday. The EU also wants to work with Ukraine.
British energy company BP has said it is planning HyGreen Teesside, a new large scale hydrogen facility in the North East of England which could deliver up to 500 tons of hydrogen production this decade. “BP is aiming to start production by 2025, with an initial phase of some 60 MWe of installed hydrogen production capacity,” said the company yesterday. “A final investment decision on the project is expected in 2023.” BP added the project will produce a mix of green and natural gas-plus-carbon-capture, blue hydrogen. The combined 1.5 GW capacity of HyGreen Teesside and H2Teesside could deliver 30% of the U.K. government’s 5 GW-by-2030 hydrogen production ambition.
Solar and sustainability
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Petroleum Development Oman wants to lead the kingdom's bid to become a hydrogen hub, according to representatives of the company who held a green hydrogen press conference this week. State-owned entities the energy group OQ, of Oman, and South Korea's Kogas Tech last week signed a memorandum of understanding to work in the sector. Energy pricing company S&P Global Platts last week launched a daily hydrogen pricing assessment for Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Oman is expected to present its hydrogen strategy in the coming weeks.
Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the largest non-oil and gas industrial company in the United Arab Emirates, and GE Gas Power have signed a memorandum of understanding to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the metal company's GE natural gas turbines by exploring hydrogen as a fuel, as well as carbon capture. “Using hydrogen as a fuel and adopting carbon capture, utilization and storage solutions could not only enable EGA to lower the carbon emissions from its electricity production, but also help to continue providing firm power on demand, supplying the reliable energy required to support their operations and growth, said Joseph Anis, president and chief executive of GE Gas Power Europe, Middle East, and Africa, on Sunday. “The initiative can serve as a model to emulate across various energy-intensive industries that require dependable, low carbon power generation capacity.”
Norwegian engineer Seanovent and thermoplastic composite pipe producer Strohm have signed a memorandum of understanding to work on offshore wind-to-hydrogen development. “The partnership will focus on developing safe and dependable hydrogen transfer solutions which enable and improve the distributed green hydrogen concept, whereby green hydrogen is generated in each wind turbine generator and transported to shore via a subsea pipe infrastructure,” the partner companies wrote yesterday. Caroline Justet, Strohm's business growth executive for ‘EiT,' said: “Seanovent's extensive offshore expertise, coupled with Strohm’s superior pipeline solutions, will enable the rapid acceleration of safe offshore wind-to-hydrogen projects by providing more reliable and cost effective solutions. This, in turn, will lower the levelized cost of energy and make distributed green hydrogen production offshore more competitive, sooner.”
Chinese demo project
China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) has said a green hydrogen demonstration project started in Kuqa, in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region today. The facility was set to include a 300 MW solar plant; 20,000 metric tons of water electrolysis hydrogen production; 210,000 cubic meters of hydrogen storage; and a hydrogen transportation tube with a capacity of 28,000 cubic meters per hour. Total investment was around RMB3 billion (€416 million) and the project will finish by June 2023. Sinopec said the replacement of natural gas with solar for hydrogen production will save around 485,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
Ten academics at Australia’s Monash University have said a breakthrough in green ammonia electrolysis could substantially lower the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the current, thermal Haber-Bosch process, which converts hydrogen and nitrogen to ammonia. “Zero-carbon-emission NH3 synthesis methods being explored include the promising electrochemical lithium-mediated nitrogen reduction reaction which has, nonetheless, required sacrificial sources of protons,” read an abstract of the group's research paper, published in Science. “In this study, a phosphonium salt is introduced as a proton shuttle to help resolve this limitation. The salt also provides additional ionic conductivity, enabling high NH3 production rates of 53 ± 1 nanomoles per second, per square centimeter at 69 ± 1% faradaic efficiency in 20-hour experiments under 0.5-bar hydrogen and 19.5-bar nitrogen. Continuous operation for more than three days is demonstrated.”
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