RWE is another important step closer to the realization of an electrolyser for the production of green hydrogen in Eemshaven in Groningen. This is because the province of Groningen has granted a full environmental permit. Since 2020, RWE has been developing the innovative ‘Eemshydrogen’ project. The next necessary steps for the project to succeed are a quick connection to the hydrogen backbone (underground pipelines) and the provision of the necessary subsidy.
The electrolyser yet to be built has a capacity of at least 50 megawatts. Depending on further regulations and market developments, further upscaling is possible. The electrolyser will be directly connected to Westereem’s RWE wind farm. This ensures the production of green hydrogen and makes it possible to relieve the electricity grid. With the produced green hydrogen, more than 250,000 tons of CO2 emissions can be avoided over the entire life cycle.
Green hydrogen is desperately needed
The industry must turn green. Affordable green hydrogen is badly needed for this. RWE has close contacts with chemical companies such as Evonik, who want to invest in making their business more sustainable. Robert Katzer, Head of Strategic Marketing at Evonik Active Oxygens: “We will be completely climate neutral by 2040. This means that we will replace fossil fuels such as gas with renewable energy sources such as green hydrogen. That is why it is important to explore the possibilities of expanding the availability of green hydrogen together with expert providers such as RWE. ”
Make business processes more sustainable
Another company that wants to use green hydrogen is BioMCN. The company is a producer of (bio) methanol and part of OCI NV. They also want to make their business processes more sustainable with green hydrogen. For example, they will produce green E-methanol for sustainable shipping. By 2020, RWE had already signed a letter of intent with OCI NV on the future supply of green hydrogen to the BioMCN production site, as an important contribution to the economic feasibility of the Eemshydrogen project.
The province of Groningen has granted the environmental permit required for the construction of the electrolyser. Like RWE, it wants to be a frontrunner in hydrogen in Europe. Hynetwork Services, a 100% subsidiary of NV Nederlandse Gasunie, is responsible for the hydrogen backbone. It is a network of underground pipes that, among other things, connect industries, hydrogen storage, production sites in the Netherlands and neighboring countries.
Gray vs Green
Not only a fast connection to the hydrogen backbone is required. There must also be a subsidy to close the economic gap between gray and green hydrogen and thus make the project economically viable. The government is working hard on mechanisms for this. A quick opening of this is crucial to the success of the project.
Northern Holland has been declared Europe’s first Hydrogen Valley by the European Commission. RWE is determined to play an active role in the development of the hydrogen economy here. It could develop the Eemshaven area into one of the leading energy and hydrogen hubs in northwestern Europe. This is possible by combining smart techniques and solutions. This includes this electrolyser, the existing RWE Eemshaven power plant and the Magnum power plant, which will be taken over from Vattenfall at the end of September.
As part of the supply of the Hollandse Kust West VII offshore wind farm, RWE also wants to build electrolysers with a total capacity of 600 megawatts. For example, RWE actively supports the decarbonisation of industry. At the same time, it gives the province of Groningen a solid position in the Dutch hydrogen economy.
Final investment decision
RWE is expected to make a final investment decision for the project at the beginning of next year, after which green hydrogen production can start in 2025. In addition to the Eemshydrogen project, RWE is also working on the development of onshore and offshore hydrogen projects. Examples are H2opZee, NortH2 and FUREC, all of which contribute to the decarbonisation of industry