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    Shell, Equinor, RWE & Gasunie study hydrogen plan off Germany

Summary

Germany wants to have 5 GW of electrolyser capacity up and running by 2030.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Shell, Equinor, RWE & Gasunie study hydrogen plan off Germany

Energy companies RWE, Shell, Gasunie and Equinor have agreed to intensify their collaboration at the AquaSector green hydrogen project off Germany, Equinor said on July 23.

The project aims to install 300 MW of electrolyser capacity, powered by wind turbines, to produce 20,000 metric tons/year of green hydrogen offshore. This hydrogen will be supplied via the AquaDuctus pipeline to Heligoland beginning in 2028.

AquaSector is expected to serve as a "proof of concept" for the development of a much larger 10 GW hydrogen hub off Germany's coast in the future, Equinor said. Its realisation will be a milestone in the implementation of both German and European hydrogen strategies.

Earlier this month Shell also launched Europe's largest hydrogen electrolyser in Rheinland, Germany. The facility's current capacity is 10 MW but this could be upscaled to 100 MW in the future.

Germany wants to have 5 GW of electrolyser capacity up and running by 2030, but this will still meet only 15% of expected demand for the fuel. Blue hydrogen will also serve a role, with the country's hydrogen council recently describing it as an important "bridging technology." It will deliver results on emissions sooner, and will enable a transition from existing gas-based trade, council member Veronica Grimm said earlier this month. The government that is formed after elections in September needs to clarify whether state aid will be available for blue hydrogen projects, she said.

Significant imports are also envisaged. The head of Ukrainian national gas company Naftogaz, Yuriy Vitrenko said this month that Germany was interesting in importing hydrogen from Ukraine.