RWE has confirmed it is a partner in the AquaVentus project in Germany, which aims to use renewable electricity from offshore wind to produce green hydrogen
Plans to develop the offshore wind-to-green hydrogen project were first disclosed by OWJ in May 2020.
The partners in the AquaVentus project, who also include Shell Holding, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, MHI Vestas, Parkwind, Vattenfall, and Northland Power, among others*, believe the German Bight and the island of Heligoland (Helgoland) are ideally suited to use as an ‘offshore wind-to-green hydrogen laboratory’ that could help Germany develop a hydrogen economy.
The project partners are planning 10 GW of offshore wind capacity in the North Sea between Heligoland and the Dogger Bank by 2035. The wind power produced there will be used to produce green hydrogen, which will be transported to land via a pipeline.
RWE Renewables chief operating officer offshore wind and AquaVentus deputy chair Sven Utermöhlen said, “Offshore wind can provide electricity reliably and inexpensively and is perfect for producing green hydrogen on an industrial scale.
“But production of hydrogen at sea requires substantial start-up investments in pilot projects. Making a clear statement on offshore production and transforming the hydrogen strategy into legislation will enable German policymakers to speed up the development of this technology and tap into its potential for climate protection.“
Heligoland Mayor Jörg Singer, who has played a leading role in the development of the project to date, said, “Producing up to 1M tonnes of green hydrogen per year might sound utopian. But we are confident this will become a reality and soon be normal.
“I am delighted the Island of Heligoland can make a substantial contribution to reaching Germany’s climate targets and will become a key element of the national hydrogen strategy of the Federal Government.”
Germany’s Federal Commissioner for Hydrogen, Dr Stefan Kaufmann, described AquaVentus as a ‘flagship project.’ He said, “The North Sea is set to play a pivotal role in the future hydrogen economy.
“The AquaVentus initiative brings together strong partners and connects the value chain from production to transportation to customers. The project can demonstrate how innovative technologies work together in practice,” said Dr Kaufmann.
RWE will contribute its expertise in offshore wind and in the hydrogen value chain to the project. The company is the second-largest operator of offshore windfarms worldwide. Off the island of Helgoland, RWE operates two offshore windfarms: Nordsee Ost (295 MW) and Amrumbank West (302 MW). Another offshore project, Kaskasi (342 MW), will enter operation in 2021.
RWE Renewables can supply clean electricity for hydrogen production, RWE Generation has the know-how to produce green hydrogen and RWE Gas Storage stores hydrogen in its gas storage facilities. RWE Supply & Trading supplies fuels to industrial customers.
* The full list of organisations in the AquaVentus consortium is as follows: the Agency for Economic Development Cuxhaven; Chatham Partners; German Shell Holding; Fraunhofer IFAM; E.ON SE; GASCADE Gastransport; Municipality of Helgoland; HanseWerk; H C Hagemann; H2 Industries; ILF Consulting Engineers; Kongstein; Mabanaft; MHI Vestas Offshore Wind; Nederlandse Gasunie; Northland Power; Parkwind; Reuther STC; RWE Renewables; Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy; Siemens Gas and Power; Offshore Wind Energy Foundation; Tractebel Overdick; Vattenfall; Utilities Helgoland; Virya Energy; Weidmüller Interface.
AquaVentus is represented by a board of directors, which includes representatives of RWE Renewables, Shell, Siemens Gamesa and Gascade.