Topsoe, an engineering group based in Denmark, plans to build the biggest electrolyzer plant in Europe. Electrolyzers produce green hydrogen, which is considered to be a key factor in the efforts to shift to a truly net zero economy.
Green hydrogen is produced through the use of renewable power. It is a type of fuel, replacing fossil fuels, seen as essential in helping decarbonize heavy industries. The technology producing green hydrogen, however, is still undeveloped and expensive.
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The plant in Denmark is expected to start operations in 2024 and will cost $284 million (2 billion Danish crowns), according to Topsoe’s SEO Roeland Baan as reported by Reuters. The final investment decision will be made in August 2022.
According to Baan, the initial capacity of the Topsoe electrolyzer plant will be 500 megawatts annually but it is expected to double quickly and could further expand to 5 gigawatts.
Earlier this month, the European Commission said it plans to end its dependency on Russian fossil fuels and produce 10 million tonnes of green hydrogen by the end of the decade.
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And while about 100 gigawatts of electrolysis capacity are required for the delivery of 10 million tonnes, only about 0.3 megawatts were installed on May 22, according to Baan. He also said that the EU will need about 200 gigawatts of renewable energy to meet the hydrogen target.
“That’s the biggest challenge we are facing,” he expressed regarding the required renewables capacity.
On May 18, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands committed to building at least 150 gigawatts of wind capacity in the North Sea by 2050 in order to create a clean energy power plant for the Old Continent.
Topsoe’s competitor, Germany-based Sunfire, also plans to increase it annually to 500 megawatts and then scale up to 1 gigawatt.
Expanding electrolyzer capacity is critical for the development of green hydrogen. Green hydrogen is one of the cleanest methods to produce hydrogen – essential fuel for the energy grid of the 21st century.