Hydrogen – the holy grail for transmission

Hydrogen is seen as an important factor in energy transition and tackling climate change challenges and meeting the Paris climate agreement goals.

One of the potential uses of hydrogen is as a means of transporting electricity generated by the offshore wind farms in the North Sea.

This would help with the challenge of transportation and storage of energy, as strong offshore wind deployment in the North Sea has the challenge that new landing points are difficult to realize and that in periods of high wind electricity production the onshore grid cannot cope with the high volumes, i.e. grid congestion. This already may become a serious issue before 2030.

Converting offshore electricity to hydrogen is also important from the storage perspective as it has been said that it is much easier to store large amounts of energy is in gaseous form than in the form of electricity.

Also, offshore electricity conversion to hydrogen and transport via existing offshore gas pipelines may form a serious alternative to transport via more expensive power cables.

Offshore Energy Today in October live streamed a talk-show titled:“Hydrogen – the holy grail for transmission” which focused on the current status of hydrogen, its potential use as a means of transportation of electricity from offshore wind farms, and also as a tool that will extend the lives of some of the Dutch North Sea platforms.

At the event’s Community Square Maarten Bouwhuis interviewed Jacqueline Vaessen, General Manager of Nextep, Rene Peters director gas technologies at TNO, Barthold Schroot – Program Manager Advice & Innovation EBN who all agreed it was high time to stop just speaking about hydrogen, and start working on it as soon as possible.

During the talk-show, one could learn that not all hydrogen is the same, or at least, the way it is produced can make it grey, blue, and green.

Namely, hydrogen is produced by electrolysis, which requires only water and electricity. The source of electricity and the CO2 emissions released in this process will make hydrogen either grey, blue, or green.

Grey hydrogen production means CO2 is released in the atmosphere, where for one kg of hydrogen produced nine kilograms of CO2 are released in the atmosphere, making the process not climate friendly. However, if the CO2 is captured and stored this makes it blue hydrogen. Green hydrogen is the one made by using the electricity coming from renewable sources where no CO2 emissions are emitted during the process.

Watch the talk show below to learn why we need hydrogen to help tackle the climate change challenge; what is a Hesla car; what the Netherlands doing in an effort to make hydrogen production viable in the North Sea using offshore gas platforms linked to wind farms; why it is important to start developing hydrogen economy as soon as possible,  and how hydrogen can be used across the board from households to industrial uses and shipping.


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