Germany is planning the construction of hydrogen power plans that will help the country replace Russian natural gas. The Norwegian state-owned energy company Equinor and RWE announced on Thursday they plan to develop hydrogen-fueled power plants in Germany over the next few years, and a major pipeline between Norway and Germany to feed them.
The agreement is not yet legally binding and aims to support Germany’s decarbonization efforts to phase out all coal-fired power stations by 2030.
“Through this collaboration we will strengthen the long-term energy security for Europe’s leading industrial country,” commented Anders Opedal, Equinor’s CEO and president.
The power plants will be jointly owned by RWE and Equinor and will initially run on natural gas produced in Norway. Then, they plan to switch to blue hydrogen, also produced in Norway using natural gas and pumped through the underwater pipeline. The long-term goal is for the power stations to use green hydrogen which is the cleanest production pathway for hydrogen as the electricity is taken from renewable sources.
The partnership also involves commitments of investments worth several billions of euros, as reported. According to RWE, it is still early for further detail as first, the infrastructure needs to be built and a suitable political framework will have to be established.
The pipelines are deemed to transport around 4 million metric tons of hydrogen per year which is equivalent to 135 terawatt hours of energy or close to Norwegian total hydropower production.