Both Korea and the Netherlands have big plans for hydrogen power. This month both country’s plans and developments are considered. Hydrogen could be used in the gas mix for home heating, for industry or for transport fuel. Hydrogen, when burnt as a fuel, emits water vapour.
In the Netherlands, there are two ambitious projects that are planning to generate hydrogen from wind power being developed this year. Feasibility studies into using North Sea wind farms to power electrolysers in Eemshaven and off the coast of Holland aim to demonstrate new technologies. These technologies will take water and using electrolysis create hydrogen using renewable energy to provide the electricity needed in the process. The results should be clean hydrogen power created from renewable electricity generated by the wind.
Holland’s Innovative Offshore Wind Power Plans
Shell, a major oil company, is in a joint venture investing in a huge pioneering new subsidy free off-shore renewable energy supply for The Netherlands. It is being developed by The CrossWind consortium which is a joint venture between Shell and Eneco. The wind farm is being developed at Hollandse Kust (noord). It aims to meet the objectives of the Dutch Climate Accord and the European Union’s Green Deal.
Hollandse Kust (noord) should be operational in 2023. It will have an installed capacity of 759 megaWatts and should generate at least 3.3 terawatt-hours (TWh) each year. This is enough renewable power to supply more than 1 million households with electric power. The wind farm will be 18.5 kilometres off the coast of The Netherlands near the town of Egmond aan Zee.
This project provides a new approach to the challenges of intermittent electricity production. Wind power creates peaks in production when it is windy and troughs when the wind is not blowing. New technologies are needed to manage the intermittent supply of power. This wind farm is demonstrating five new technologies, some will help to manage the intermittent nature of wind power. The five technologies include:
- a floating solar park
- short-term battery storage
- turbines that are optimally tuned to the network to minimise the negative ‘wake’-effects that wind turbines have on each other
- hydrogen, or “green hydrogen’ produced by electrolysis as a further storage technique
- the combination of these individual measures to provide a continuous power supply regardless of the wind
These aim to provide a fully resilient wind powered system. Different techniques are being combined to provide innovative ways to support the transition to clean energy systems across Europe. Universities and scientific institutions will collaborate with the joint venture to develop further technical innovations. This knowledge will be shared to improve energy storage from intermittent wind powered electricity sources. This will be the first offshore wind farm focused on system integration.
This project supports Shell’s goal of becoming a net-zero emission energy business by 2050 or sooner. It will help the company move from fossil fuels and pioneer new clean power solutions. The project will assist with ambitions to use wind to create clean hydrogen using electrolysis.
There are plans to build a green hydrogen plant in Rotterdam and with NortH2 in the north of the Netherlands as shown below.
Hydrogen From Water
Also in The Netherlands at Eemshaven, the NortH2 group with Dutch gas grid operator Gasunie and the port authority Groningen Seaports, aim to be the first to transport “green” hydrogen to industrial customers by 2027. Green hydrogen is extracted using electrolysis with clean energy used in the process.
There are plans to have 3-4GW of new offshore wind capacity dedicated to green hydrogen production by 2030. This would be scaled up to 10GW of off-shore wind powering around 4GW of electrolysis by 2040. The project could produce up to 800,000 tonnes of hydrogen annually by 2040. If used to substitute use of fossil fuels there could be emission reductions of around seven megatonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2). Further details are on the wind power web site
Korea’s Hydrogen Future
South Korea is on a journey to a low-carbon future with a hydrogen based economy. The government sees hydrogen as a new engine for economic growth which will be central to its long-term future. In 2019, President Moon Jae-in announced the government’s determination to build a hydrogen economy. A roadmap for the country aims to produce 6.2 million units of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and build 1,200 hydrogen refuelling stations by 2040. Mobility and fuel provision are two main areas of focus for the new economy.
By 2022 Korea aims to have around 80,000 hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles on the roads. To fuel these new vehicles there will be around 300 hydrogen stations. The Korea Energy Economics Institute suggests the size of the hydrogen industry in Korea is currently worth $12bn. By 2030 it is likely to almost double to around $21.3bn. There are plans to change the economics of the price of hydrogen: the current price of hydrogen at the country’s refuelling stations is between $5.7 and $7.1 per kilo. The government wants this to be around $4.8 per kilo by 2022 with the cost falling further to $2.4 per kilo by 2040. Currently the high cost of transporting hydrogen is being subsidised locally and is loss making.
There is a massive stimulus package from the government: the New Deal. There is also a Green New Deal that has $47bn public capital allocated. Of this money around 36% of it, $17bn, will be used for hydrogen mobility projects. The government has allocated subsidies of $462m for fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen infrastructure for this year (2020). Further subsidies for fuel cell buses come into force in 2022: this is expected to be reduce the price of a kilo of hydrogen fuel by $2.9.
In 2019 hydrogen for mobility was around 50,000 tons but hydrogen production is likely to increase to 5.2m tons by 2040. Fuel provision has the benefit of new regulations requiring large office owners to source at least 30% of total electricity from a renewable source. Space constraints in Korea benefits fuel cells instead of solar or wind installations. Technology such as solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology can benefit residential, commercial and utility spaces. Further insights are available on the h2 view web site.
Conclusions And Further Resources
Hydrogen is now being considered widely as a new source of fuel. There are still challenges to overcome with the fuel, especially around the transport and storage. It has benefits for reducing air pollution and cutting existing carbon emissions.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the European Union have reports into the future of hydrogen at the global and European levels. There are links to these two reports below. They both highlight the state of this rapidly developing low pollution fuel source.