Worley and Princeton outline new action plan to speed up hydrogen projects by 40%

Australian project delivery and asset services provider Worley and researchers at Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment have developed a new action plan for the renewable hydrogen sector which, if broadly adopted, could reduce delivery times for hydrogen projects by 40%.

Illustration. Image: Worley

The recommendations are included in the new paper titled ‘From Ambition to Reality 3 – steps to accelerate net zero delivery’. The paper is part of a series that examines the infrastructure delivery challenge of reaching mid-century net zero.

The report findings indicate that an eight-to-twelve-fold increase in global electrolyser manufacturing capacity, four-fold increase in annual capacity additions for offshore wind every year, and a 35% increase in desalination capacity additions are required by 2030 to meet the EU’s ambitious goal of 10 million tons per annum (MPTA) of renewable hydrogen production by 2030.

The paper finds that traditional delivery methods will be simply too slow to deliver the infrastructure needed and the EU production target is at risk.

Applying a new radical delivery paradigm, Worley and Princeton researchers have devised the ‘EU Renewable H2 Initiative Plan’, a ten-point plan for the industry with clear and actionable recommendations.

The report finds that through broad adoption of the plan by infrastructure participants, delivery times could potentially be reduced by 40% while maintaining a disciplined approach to investment.

According to the report, 25 projects at a scale of 3 GW electrolyser and 400 KTPA need to reach commercial operation date (COD) by 2030 to meet the EU’s target. The report found that the timeline required to deliver these projects is likely to be a minimum of eight years and timelines beyond ten years are probable, meaning a change of approach is required to bring the goal back within reach.

The initiatives proposed in the plan include government underwriting of demand and streamlining permitting, the use of standardisation within the hydrogen industry, and the widespread sharing of industry information and best practices.

Paul Ebert, Group Director Sustainability Leadership from Worley, said: “Our findings highlight the urgency of strategic and substantial actions within the renewable hydrogen sector. The proposed initiatives go significantly beyond current practices seen within the industry, but this new level of collaboration and support will be essential for driving investment faster, steering the region towards both sustainable and environmentally conscious energy production.

“In the paper, we also outline pragmatic steps that participants in all clean energy value chains can adopt to build momentum towards the critical decades of 2030 and 2040s.”