Bundling alliances to get sustainable production of hydrogen off the ground quickly
Before 2030 and in a competitive manner, there will be large-scale and CO2-free hydrogen production for industrial use, that is the mission of the ISPT Hydrogen Consortium. In a new center, the Hydrohub, researchers will start testing and developing a hydrogen production units on an industrial scale. This initiative, financed by the business community and the Top Sector Energy, is made possible by a strong support of 1 million from the Province of Groningen.
The need for sustainable hydrogen on a large scale
In the Netherlands, the industry produces around 800,000 tons of hydrogen annually, releasing more than 7 million tons of CO2 emissions. This is now done by converting natural gas into hydrogen at high temperatures. By switching to electric production of hydrogen, the industry will kill two birds with one stone: both the use of natural gas and CO2 emissions will be reduced considerably. In order to be able to apply this technology competitively and on a large scale, electrolysis installations are needed that can convert large amounts of water into hydrogen and oxygen on a large scale using sustainably generated water.
The increase in scale in green hydrogen production, as indicated by the broadly supported Hydrogen Coalition, is of great importance for the energy transition. The current available electrolysis installations with a capacity of a few megawatts are far too small to be able to realize this increase in scale. In order to switch completely to sustainable hydrogen, the industry needs electrolysis installations with a total capacity of several gigawatts. These installations must be cheaper to purchase and smarter in design than the current installations and also reliable and low maintenance.
Gerard van Pijkeren, director of Gasunie New Energy: “In the hydrogen coalition, Gasunie works together with 26 organizations consisting of industry, education, research institutes, NGOs and the government that see a relevant future for hydrogen as part of the energy transition and achieving the climate targets. Gasunie facilitates initiatives that allow the reuse of the existing traditional gas network to lead to the use of sustainable forms of energy relatively easily. The Hydrohub is such an initiative. In the ISPT consortium, we work with the Hydrohub from 10 organizations on the Zernike to develop hydrogen on an industrial scale. Hydrogen connects the electricity grid to the gas network, allowing both systems to benefit from each other’s capacity. And that prevents problems in the power grid.”