A consortium of 30 European energy companies and financial institutions have launched the HyDeal Ambition project, which aims at delivering 100% green hydrogen across Europe at a price of just €1.5/kg before 2030 by building 95GW worth of solar capacity and 67GW worth of hydrogen electrolysis capacity.
HyDeal Ambition is the result of 2 years of research and confidential preparation by 30 European energy players, and the targeted price of €1.5/kg ($AU2.3/kg) includes the production of, transmission, and storage of green hydrogen.
One of the primary purposes of HyDeal Ambition is to deliver green hydrogen to customers at cost-parity with fossil fuel competitors, helping to make the transition to a carbon-neutral economy a much easier prospect.
Hydrogen fuel is one of the most promising zero emission fuels for energy storage, transport and heating – an alternative to coal and gas in the grid, oil for transport and gas for heating.
There are several ways to create hydrogen, but the most promising is by electrolysis of water powered by electricity. Hydrogen production is classified under various coloured nomenclature, with “grey” hydrogen that made with significant emission, “blue” hydrogen made in tandem with carbon capture technology, or “green” hydrogen produced using electricity generated from renewable energy sources.
Green hydrogen is gaining in popularity, especially in Europe, where several large-scale green hydrogen projects and demonstration projects have been introduced in recent years.
HyDeal Ambition is the newest of these projects, and the biggest. Production of green hydrogen is expected to begin on the Iberian Peninsula in the southwest corner of Europe in 2022.
Overall, HyDeal Ambition expects to build 95GW worth of solar capacity to power 67GW worth of electrolysis capacity by 2030, delivering 3.6 million tonnes of green hydrogen annually to users in the energy, industry, and mobility sectors via the gas transmission and storage network.
The project will utilise a phased approach to deliveries, with Spain and the Southwest of France first to receive supplies of the resulting green hydrogen, followed by an expansion into the East of France and then Germany.
A series of projects and partnerships are currently being launched involving several of HyDeal Ambition’s founding partners, with a first initiative expected within a year in Spain based on a portfolio of solar sites with a capacity of nearly 10GW.
“HyDeal Ambition brings together visionary CEOs and entrepreneurs, who share the determination to accelerate the energy transition,” said Thierry Lepercq, spokesperson for HyDeal.
“HyDeal Ambition constitutes a complete industrial ecosystem spanning the whole green hydrogen value chain (upstream, midstream, downstream, finance), and results from 2 years of research, analysis, modelling, feasibility studies and contract design.
HyDeal Ambition makes it possible to produce and deliver competitive green hydrogen in Europe.”
Founding participants in HyDeal Ambition include:
- Solar developers: DH2/Dhamma Energy (Spain), Falck Renewables (Italy), Qair (France)
- Electrolysis OEMs, engineering and EPC providers: McPhy Energy (France), VINCI Construction (France)
- Gas TSOs: Enagás (Spain), OGE (Germany), Snam (Italy), GRTgaz (France), Teréga (France)
- Energy and industrial groups: Gazel Energie, subsidiary of EPH (France), Naturgy (Spain), HDF Energie (France)
- Infrastructure funds: Cube, Marguerite, Meridiam
- Consultants and advisors: European Investment Bank, Corporate Value Associates (CVA), Clifford Chance, Cranmore Partners, Finergreen, Envision Digital, Energy Web
“In the path of the decarbonisation of our economies towards a sustainable future, renewable hydrogen is becoming a strategic energy vector especially in the so called hard-to-abate industries,” said Toni Volpe, CEO of Falck Renewables.
“Ramping up green hydrogen requires scaling up renewable energy plants and we see an integrated approach to the green hydrogen value chain the best approach to achieve these targets. We are proud to team up with other valuable players to boost the energy transition.”
By no means the first green hydrogen project, HyDeal Ambition is nevertheless one of the largest and most ambitious.
Over the last year alone there have been numerous projects announced, many in Europe, but some in Australia as well.
In February 2020 the British Government committed £7.5 million to funding the next phase of Gigastack, a new project which will use electricity generated from Ørsted’s Hornsea Two 1.4GW offshore wind farm to produce renewable hydrogen.
The Gigastack project last month got the green light after Ørsted took a final investment decision to proceed with the demonstration project, which will be powered by two offshore wind turbines.
British-Dutch oil major Shell teamed up with Dutch utility Eneco in July 2020 to build the subsidy-free 759MW Hollandse Kust Noord offshore wind project which will also include a floating solar park, short-term battery storage, and a green hydrogen electrolyser for additional storage.
Development of the project was given a further boost when, earlier this month, online shopping giant Amazon invested in the project.
The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy in August 2020 backed the Westkuste100 pilot project which will build a 30MW electrolyser to produce green hydrogen from electricity generated by an offshore wind farm.
Long-term plans for the project hope to build a 700MW electrolysis plant which will be powered by renewable energy, with a potential focus on being powered by offshore wind.
The Westkuste100 pilot project is also backed by EDF Germany, Ørsted, and the Heide refinery.
In plans that are intently focused on one day delivering green hydrogen, Danish wind energy manufacturing giant Vestas announced in November 2020 that it would take full ownership of its offshore wind venture with Japanese corporate heavyweight Mitsubishi, MHI Vestas.
Meanwhile, a month later, Australian renewable energy developer CWP Renewables joined a group of seven of the world’s biggest green hydrogen project developers and partners in launching the Green Hydrogen Catapult initiative which is targeting the deployment of 25GW worth of hydrogen production capacity through 2026.
Staying with Australia’s green hydrogen plans, Infinite Blue Energy, project developer for the $AU300 million Arrowsmith Hydrogen Project, selected in September 2020 global energy consultancy Xodus Group to carry out phase one work for the project, following several months after investment was secured for the project.
Finally, earlier this month, the Danish Government gave the green light to plans to build two massive “energy islands” that will see the development of gigawatts-worth of offshore wind power, generating electricity for Denmark and surrounding nations, as well as the production of green hydrogen.