Photo: Courtesy of Wintershall Dea

Wintershall Dea in energy transition with hydrogen and CCS

German oil and gas company Wintershall Dea says it is driving gas industry transformation with hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) to achieve the climate targets in Europe.

Wintershall Dea in energy transition with hydrogen and CCS
Courtesy of Wintershall Dea

Mario Mehren, CEO of Wintershall Dea, spoke about the topic at the Handelsblatt Energy Summit that took place in Berlin on 17 January 2022.  “The coming years will be crucial if we in the gas industry are also to take decisive steps on the path towards climate neutrality. We will make our industry future-proof.”

Wintershall Dea is driving this transformation with hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS); as these technologies will be crucial for reducing emissions.

“The energy transition will only succeed if we do not leave out any technology that can reduce emissions. The revision of the National Hydrogen Strategy announced in the coalition agreement must therefore also take hydrogen from natural gas into account so as to enable a rapid market ramp-up,” Mehren said.

Moreover, the energy transition will only succeed if it is pursued globally, he added. “Producers like Russia, Norway, and North Africa view the EU as a key market and will certainly develop products that Europe wants and needs; whether climate-friendly gas or CCS.”

According to the Germany Energy Agency’s study on energy transition, demand for hydrogen will increase more than tenfold by 2045. To cover this demand, hydrogen from natural gas will also be of need. Mehren emphasized that this will be the only way to usher in the hydrogen era in Germany, but also in Europe.

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Wintershall Dea taking steps in emission reduction

Wintershall Dea takes part in various projects for climate-friendly hydrogen from natural gas production. For example, it is working with the energy company VNG on the first plant in Germany to produce “turquoise” hydrogen. In addition, the company is researching methane pyrolysis with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

The company’s CEO also highlighted the construction of new gas-fired power plants. Germany’s new federal government has already stipulated this in its coalition agreement. Thus, expanding renewable energies and securing the supply of gas will go hand in hand. This is especially due to modern gas-fired power plants being able to operate on hydrogen.

In addition, the company is calling for a new legal regulation for the safe offshore storage of CO2 (CCS) in Germany. CCS makes it possible to reduce the unavoidable emissions, such as those generated by industry. Neighboring countries already use this technology.

In late 2022, the company will start storing CO2 in the Danish North Sea as a partner of Project Greensand. The Danish government supports the pilot project with €26 million in funding. Mehren is convinced that this valuable experience with CCS technology should also be put to use in Germany.