Fuel for the future
The world faces a significant challenge meeting the United Nations Paris Agreement’s goal of staying below 2 degrees Celsius temperature rise by mitigating the effects of climate change and decarbonizing the entire global economy. For the sectors using electricity, renewable energy sources such as wind power have made significant advances towards this goal.
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However, to avert the climate crisis, it is crucial to also decarbonize all parts of the economy using other sources of energy, such as heavy transportation and heavy industry for example. To achieve this, we need to utilize the ample, cheap and green electricity available through renewable energy technologies outside the electricity sector. Green hydrogen is key to this effort.
Driven by renewable energy, electrolyzers can produce hydrogen without any greenhouse gas emissions. The renewable power is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen produced in this way is often referred to as green hydrogen.
With green hydrogen as the connecting piece, green electricity can be transformed into a transportation fuel, or as feedstock in industrial processes, where currently no climate neutral alternatives exist. This means that in the future, green hydrogen and derived fuels, such as green ammonia, will allow us to put wind power into the fuel tank of a container ship. Hydrogen can thus greatly expand the decarbonization potential of renewable energy sources.
Today, the world produces 75 million ton each year. Most of this hydrogen is generated from fossil fuels, mainly natural gas and coal. This accounts for 6% of the global natural gas consumption, 2% of the global coal consumption and consequently emits 830 MtCO2 every year. That is almost as much as Germany’s annual CO2-emissions.
Producing all of this hydrogen with green energy will thus help to significantly reduce emissions. And going beyond that, green hydrogen is also able to replace fossil fuels in the transportation sector. The future market for this simple molecule is gigantic.
Andreas Nauen, Siemens Gamesa CEO
March 19th, 2021
Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energyare joining forces to kickstart a new era of offshore green hydrogen production that will power a cleaner future.
The partners are collaborating on the development of an innovative solution that fully integrates an electrolyzer into an offshore wind turbine as a single synchronized system to directly produce green hydrogen.
Siemens Gamesa will adapt its development of the world’s most powerful turbine, the SG14-222 DD offshore wind turbine to integrate an electrolysis system seamlessly into the turbine’s operations.
The development will serve as a test bed for making large-scale, cost-efficient hydrogen production a reality and will prove the feasibility of reliable, effective implementation of modular offshore wind-to-hydrogen systems.
Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy target a total investment of approximately EUR 120 million over the next five years in the development of this innovative solution with a full-scale offshore demonstration expected by 2025/2026.
In the pioneering tradition of the company, Siemens Gamesa is now tackling the technical challenges to bring hydrogen production capability to wind turbines. Here’s how.
Siemens Gamesa is developing a hydrogen production plant in Western Denmark. The project couples an electrolyzer with an existing onshore 3 MW turbine, with the possibility to run the system in ‘island mode’, that is, without any connection to the grid. The project is named Brande Hydrogen.
The key challenge that the Brande Hydrogen project addresses is the effect a fluctuating power input will have on the electrolyzer. Brande Hydrogen will provide a clear understanding of the integration of the electrolyzer with a variable renewable energy source, and the efficiency of the electrolyzer system over time.
The Danish government has designated Siemens Gamesa’s Brande Hydrogen project as an official regulatory energy test zone. This test zone permit exempts Siemens Gamesa from some of the energy sector regulations in Denmark, and it is a one-of-a-kind permit in Europe. This grant brings us closer to solving one of the biggest challenges in the green energy transition: Integrating unprecedented amounts of renewable energy into the energy system. Our Brande Hydrogen project enables research to show that green hydrogen can be produced without using any power from the grid, known as “island mode”, and serves as an essential test bed for making large-scale, cost-efficient hydrogen production a reality.
With the Brande Hydrogen project, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy is now taking the first R&D steps needed to lead the way to a future where large-scale hydrogen production is possible. This future vision is one where cheap and ample energy production can be utilized in hard-to-abate sectors, thereby contributing to the decarbonization of the entire energy sector, including the transportation and heavy industry sectors.