A consortium of Gasunie, Groningen Seaports and Shell Nederland has launched an ambitious plan to build a massive offshore wind facility it will use to generate green hydrogen
By 2030, the consortium plans to build what it described as “a mega offshore windfarm” of 3-4 GW to produce green hydrogen. In the long-term, the NortH2 project could be significantly expanded – to around 10 GW by 2040.
The companies anticipate being able to produce 800,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2040. Initially, they plan to do so onshore, but could produce hydrogen offshore at a later date.
“NortH2 has the support of the province of Groningen and is looking for partners to expand the consortium and realise this project,” the companies said.
“NortH2 envisages the construction of very significant windfarms in the North Sea, which can gradually grow to a capacity of about 10 GW.
“This would be sufficient to meet the current electricity consumption of some 12.5M Dutch households,” said the consortium. “Many wind turbines will need to be installed to enable this to happen. The first ones could be ready in 2027.”
The NortH2 project also envisages the development of a smart transport network in the Netherlands and northwest Europe to deliver the green hydrogen to industry and, potentially, to consumers.
Shell Nederland president Marjan van Loon said, “Together we are launching an ambition that puts the Netherlands at the forefront of hydrogen globally. In addition, it contributes to achieving the objectives of the Dutch Climate Agreement and accelerates the energy transition.
“This project offers opportunities throughout the entire hydrogen chain. In addition, it fits well with our new energies aspirations and our ambition to find new ways to reduce CO2 emissions and deliver cleaner energy, at home, on the go and at work.
“In order to realise this project, we will need several new partners. Together we will have to pioneer and innovate to bring together all the available knowledge and skills that are required. The energy transition calls for bold action.”
The project is expected to start later in 2020 with a feasibility study. If the feasibility study is successful, the consortium hopes to produce the first hydrogen by 2027, although this depends, among other things, on securing permits from the Dutch Government, identifying new windfarm locations in the North Sea, and a final investment decision.