Orsted to develop an offshore wind facility linked to an electrolyzer to generate green hydrogen

Energy Environment

Fredericia-based multinational power company Orsted is waiting for a green light from relevant authorities to construct a large-scale offshore wind project in the North Sea that will be linked to an electrolyzer facility to generate renewable hydrogen. Major industrial firms support this project which will be “one of the world’s largest renewable hydrogen plants to be linked to industrial demand.” The Danish firm will install a 2gigawatt (GW) offshore wind farm alongside a 1GW electrolyzer if the proposal passes the feasibility test. The project, dubbed the SeaH2Land development, will consist of wind turbines, electrolyzer infrastructure, and hydrogen pipelines covering about forty-five kilometers between Belgium and the Netherlands.

The electrolyzer facility will be powered by clean energy generated by the offshore wind farm to make clean hydrogen. The project will be completed in two phases of 500 megawatts (MW) each. This project has attracted support from big energy companies such as ArcelorMittal, Yara, and Dow. Although Orsted is yet to decide on this project’s financial aspects, once the investors are on board, the project will commence before 2030.

“As the world looks to decarbonize, it’s paramount that we act now to secure the long-term competitiveness of European industry in a green economy,” said Martin Neubert, Orsted chief commercial officer.

Hydrogen has earned a soft spot in the energy sector as economies worldwide shun high carbon fossil fuels. The fuel can be used in various capacities to propel space vehicles and alternative fuel for gasoline in internal combustion engines. According to the International Energy Agency, hydrogen is a “versatile energy carrier.” However, it is only renewable if the electricity used in the electrolysis process is sourced from renewables.

Hydrogen is made by passing an electric current through water, which splits it into oxygen and hydrogen, a process known as electrolysis. If the power used in the electrolysis is from solar, wind, or other clean sources, the hydrogen is eco-friendly.

Businesses, especially in Europe, are developing an interest in green hydrogen as the demand for carbon-free power rises. By 2030, the European Union pledges to develop renewable hydrogen electrolyzers of up to 40GW.

Earlier this year, German steel manufacturer Salzgitter partnered with Avacon, an E.ON daughter company to unveil a renewable hydrogen facility known as the WindH2 project. Linde, an engineering company based in Dublin, Ireland, will also collaborate on this project. In India, one of the top contributors to global warming, the government is launching a “comprehensive National Hydrogen Energy Mission” to generate hydrogen from green power sources. The Asian country plans to reach 430GW capacity of renewable energy by 2030.