Shell, Siemens and TenneT have called for accelerated development of the production of green hydrogen using offshore wind and are asking the German Government to consider wind-hydrogen tenders.
The companies believe that implementing a programme of tenders for offshore windfarms combined with power-to-gas technology would enable Germany to accelerate the roll-out of renewable energy by 2030 and enable the country to achieve climate policy goals. They believe that hybrid power projects of this type would enable more offshore wind to be built in German waters without over-burdening the electricity grid on land. Grid connection has long been an issue for German offshore wind.
To overcome issues with grid connection – to effectively side-step them altogether – Shell, Siemens and TenneT are proposing a new tendering model for offshore wind coupled with hydrogen production. In this way, they believe, additional offshore wind capacity could be developed in a short period of time and power-to-gas technology could be developed to market maturity. The model they are proposing is based on a study by the consulting firm E-Bridge, which was commissioned by the three companies.
Deutsche Shell Holding chair Dr Thomas Zengerly said, “Hydrogen electrolysis facilitates the use of electricity from renewable energy sources, contributes to the stability of the grid and produces hydrogen of a quality needed for use in transport and industry. It is a very important building block for the cross-sectoral energy transition.
Siemens head of energy research Professor Dr Armin Schnettler said, “In order to master the energy transition and to be able to do without fossil fuels we need to decouple the generation of electricity from renewable sources from consumption.” He said proton electrolyte membrane hydrogen electrolysis “is a key technology for this.”
According to E-Bridge, between 2026 and 2030 offshore windfarms with a capacity of up to 900 MW coupled with hydrogen production could be built. The firm believes that pilot tenders could get underway as soon as 2022.