The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking 2, a public-private partnership of the European Commission, has provided a consortium with EUR 5 million (~ US $ 6.08 million) in funding to help make offshore hydrogen production feasible investigate, announced ITM Power in a press release.
The consortium of ITM Power, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Orsted and Element Energy will develop the OYSTER project. The OYSTER project aims to study the potential of hydrogen production from offshore wind at costs that are competitive with natural gas.
The consortium will investigate the feasibility and potential of directly combining an offshore wind turbine with an electrolyser to transport green hydrogen on land.
The company said the consortium will develop and evaluate a fully marine MW-scale electrolyser in a pilot onshore project coordinated by Element Energy.
The project aims to develop a compact electrolysis system that can withstand the harsh offshore environment, has nominal maintenance requirements, and meets the cost and performance targets for the production of low cost green hydrogen.
According to a press release, ITM Power will develop the electrolyser system and carry out electrolyser tests with the support of Orsted. In addition, Orsted, a Denmark-based energy company, will conduct a feasibility study on the use of physical offshore electrolysers and lead the offshore deployment analysis. Element Energy and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy will provide technical and project-related expertise.
The design of the electrolyzer system will be compact and can be combined with a single offshore wind turbine and follow the production profile. In addition, the system will combine the desalination and water treatment processes to use seawater as the feedstock for the electrolysis process.
ITM Power announced that the project will start in 2021 and run through the end of 2024. The consortium aims to produce hydrogen from offshore wind on the coast at a cost that is competitive with natural gas. This can be a primary step in developing a commercial offshore hydrogen production industry in Europe and beyond.
Micheal Dolman, Deputy Director at Element Energy, said, “Offshore wind is one of the most cost-effective forms of electricity generation today and will play an important role in Europe's decarbonization plans. Interest in the transport of renewable energies in the form of hydrogen is growing, especially in locations far away from the coast. “
According to Rystad Energy Research, the global pipeline of supply-scale green hydrogen development projects – projects with capacities greater than 1 MW – now exceeds 60 GW, with 87% of that capacity coming from gigawatt-scale projects.
According to a study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, hydrogen made from solar-powered devices could be cheaper in a decade than fossil-fuel-based methods of production.
Harsh is a reporter at Mercom India. He previously reported general interest stories at Indian Express. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from the Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication in Pune.
More articles from Harsh Shukla.