The virtual Transition Faster Conference, hosted by DNV, took place from the 26th to the 28th of January 2021. The focus of the conference was on decarbonising energy sources to facilitate a faster transition to meet climate targets. The emphasis was on wind and wind technology, however one of the sessions explored the role of green hydrogen on the road to transition. Below is a selection of key points that generally confirmed our own understanding of the subject:
- Hydrogen is already consumed as a feedstock by various industries.
- Annually this accounts for around 800 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 emissions (1t of grey H2 produces around 10t of CO2).
- Global demand is only going to increase for use in manufacturing processes, as a direct energy carrier, in heating and synthetic fuels.
- Projections suggest that 190Mt of H2 will need to be produced annually by 2050.
- 80Mt (42%) will be produced from renewable sources (equal to the current grey volume).
- 6% of total global energy demand will comprise of green and blue hydrogen (by 2050).
- The EU hydrogen strategy is to have 40GW of electrolysers producing 10Mt of green hydrogen per annum, by 2030.
- This implies 120GW of dedicated wind and solar will be available to meet the power demand.
- Notably, pilot projects with electrolysers connected directly to wind farms have faced challenges ramping up and down.
- They have shown a requirement for additional power through connection to a wider grid network.
- Green hydrogen is currently more expensive (than grey) by a factor of >2 (subject to electricity prices).
- In some instances, the economic case for localised green hydrogen has prevailed, relative to centralised grey hydrogen production, by offsetting transport costs and losses.
- Government incentives could drive down the costs of green hydrogen technologies, such as alkaline electrolysers, which have not reached final product development (progress being slow and often stagnant for many years).
- To meet emission targets, blue hydrogen will need to be in the mix with green hydrogen.
- The current outlook is 50:50 blue and green hydrogen towards 2050.
On green hydrogen – we recognise that dedicated renewable energy sources will not be available for some time to come, the demand for their output is too great and surplus supplies, to the extent required, are simply not available and will not be until much closer to 2050. As shown to date, neither is direct integration with windfarms straightforward, given their intermittency. Our Gas2Wire projects provide a unique opportunity to host and support offshore pilots projects.
On blue hydrogen – the need and rationale behind blue hydrogen as part of the energy mix, is clear. This presents a considerable opportunity for oil and gas operators to switch from a traditional model of exporting gas to shore, to instead exporting hydrogen – at the same time removing the associated fugitive emissions. Our Gas2Wire projects provide the means for operators to realise this opportunity, at the same time maximising the economic recovery of indigenous resources.
Article by Caroline Tsvigu
5th February 2021