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    Gasunie, AkzoNobel Eye Green Hydrogen


AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals and Dutch Gasunie New Energy have joined forces to investigate the possible large scale conversion of sustainable electricity into green hydrogen from wate

by: William Powell

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Gasunie, AkzoNobel Eye Green Hydrogen

Dutch firms AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals and Gasunie New Energy have joined forces to study possible large-scale conversion of sustainable electricity into green hydrogen from water, they said January 9.

The installation at Delfzijl, in the province of Groningen in the northeast Netherlands, would use a 20-MW water electrolysis unit, the largest in Europe, to convert sustainably-produced imported electricity into 3,000 metric tons of green hydrogen a year – enough to fuel 300 hydrogen buses. A final decision on the project is expected in 2019.

So far, the largest planned electrolysis unit in the Netherlands has a capacity of 1 MW, but the eventual aim is to be able to build installations that convert and store sustainable energy in the form of hydrogen on an even larger scale (from 100 MW), they said: "Both companies want to play an active role in the transition to a CO2-neutral economy, and the project is in line with their respective initiatives in renewable energy – including hydrogen." 

“Achieving the Netherlands’ CO2  reduction targets and the corresponding transition in the energy system will be a huge challenge,” said Gasunie board member Ulco Vermeulen. He said ‘power to gas’ was not only "a promising technology, but also as one that will be necessary to achieve a fully sustainable energy mix by 2050. Hydrogen also plays a crucial role in achieving the emission reduction target set by the Dutch government for 2030, a reduction of CO2 emissions by 49% compared to 1990. To make sure we have enough hydrogen in 2030, we will need to take steps now to validate the technology at different scales.”

Chemicals and paints manufacturer AkzoNobel's energy director Marcel Galjee said industry was responsible for a large percentage of CO2 emissions. Only by "far-reaching change of its industrial activities can the Netherlands achieve the international climate targets. During this transition, new value chains and revenue models can emerge across sectors through collaboration between companies."

“The vast majority of the more than 800,000 tons of hydrogen used by Dutch industry each year is produced using natural gas. Replacing this by sustainably produced hydrogen will reduce CO2 emissions by 8mn mt. However, the real potential is in large-scale production as the basis for green chemistry,” said Galjee.