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Hydrogen heads to challenge oil and gas as local energy supply

Hydrogen heads to challenge oil and gas as local energy supply

tech innovation 2022

Hydrogen is now finding its place in the world of renewable energy. Credits: © Juan Roblox, Shutterstock

Hydrogen is making its way into the world of renewable energy. Regional developments such as Hydrogen Valley and Hydrogen Island are serving as blueprints for larger ecosystems to produce and consume this versatile fuel locally.

The Northern Netherlands region used to be the major gas country. One of the world’s largest gas fields was found under the feet in the province of Groningen. Gas extraction from the field helped bankroll the Netherlands for decades. But times are changing.

“Gas production is going down,” said Jochem Durenkamp, ​​hydrogen project manager at the New Energy Coalition. “Which would mean the north would lose many jobs. Hydrogen became a perfect replacement.”

With gas extraction and related jobs coming to an end, these northern regions are exploring alternatives. In addition, soil changes from drilling for gas are causing minor earthquakes, with 72 registered in 2021 alone. This has a significant economic impact, especially when it damages homes in the area. Since 1991, €1.2 billion has been paid in compensation for earthquake damage.

The Northern Netherlands region is about to become a so-called “Hydrogen Valley”. Heaven The project coordinated by the New Energy Coalition is at the top. The region is tapping into European support to develop the infrastructure needed to adopt green hydrogen as a locally produced energy supply.

The EU has an end goal of 100 of these hydrogen basins. There are currently 23 in different stages of development in Europe, with an ambition to double this total by 2025. In the rapidly developing clean energy investment trend of billions, dozens of projects have started across Europe and in 20 countries around the world. follow the link for Hydrogen valleys map,

The strategy is to provide a regional economic stimulus while fighting the burning of fossil fuels, the main driver of climate change. Eventually, when enough sectors emerge, they will join to create a broad-scale hydrogen-based economy founded on a clean, safe energy supply.

green hydrogen

The northern Netherlands is in an ideal position to take advantage of the hydrogen opportunity. is located near North Sea’s rapidly expanding offshore wind farms, it has a direct line of renewable energy for the manufacture of green hydrogen. On top of this, past gas exploitation in the region has created a body of knowledge and skills that are easily transferred to the production, distribution, storage and consumption of hydrogen in the local economy.

The idea behind Hydrogen Valleys is to create a self-sustaining hydrogen ecosystem from start to finish. In the case of Paradise, it begins with the identification of sites where the electrolysis process can be used to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity.

Hydrogen Valley is a medium-sized area where clean hydrogen is produced locally and consumed by homes, vehicles and industries. The goal is to start the hydrogen economy at the community level. Eventually the regional hydrogen basins would join to form the Hydrogen-powered Macroeconomic Zone.

When this electricity is derived from renewable sources, such as offshore wind in the case of Paradise, hydrogen is considered a green energy source. Typically stored as a gas, this zero-emissions energy carrier is used to fuel everyday applications such as transportation, heating and industry.

For example, HEAVENN invests in projects for hydrogen-based mobility, with multiple hydrogen filling points for every type of hydrogen-powered vehicle from cars to trucks and buses. Hydrogen will also be used to power datacenters and heat residential neighborhoods.

Building an energy ecosystem is not easy. “Thirty partners are involved in the project,” Durenkamp said. “Coordinating what they do is a huge challenge, but building this ecosystem is critical for hydrogen.”

Beyond the partners, the local community is also an important player. “It is very important that residents are consulted,” Durenkamp said. “Where previously, energy was extracted from underground, it is now very visible in landscapes with wind turbines, solar panels and large electrolysis facilities. Whenever something is done in the project, it is done in collaboration with local residents ”

clean energy island

Another area that unlocks hydrogen’s potential is the Spanish island of Mallorca, which bills itself as a “hydrogen island.”

“The idea for the project came when the cement manufacturer, CEMEX, announced that it would be closing its plant on Mallorca,” said Maria Jane Caparos. She serves as the coordinator of hydrogen innovation at Anagas, the transmission system operator of the national gas grid in Spain. “With hydrogen, we want to re-industrialize the island and decarbonize the Balearic region.”

Is known green highlandThe project will create an ecosystem of hydrogen producers and users in the Mediterranean island. Achieving this would reduce costly energy imports and eliminate harmful emissions.

Its center is an electrolysis plant that produces hydrogen from energy supplied by two newly built solar power plants. This hydrogen is then used in a range of different applications in the field. For example, the public transport company in the city of Palma de Mallorca operates hydrogen-powered buses. Another use-case is to power the island’s important ferry port and even provide energy for a hotel. But community energy requires community support.

renewable diversification

“It’s important to support society,” said Jane Caparos. “Hydrogen is something new for the Balearic Islands. This project will not only promote reindustrialization based on renewable energy, but will also provide knowledge, research and innovation. It is a milestone that the Balearic Islands have to promote the diversification of. The group should take advantage of the production model with new, stable and quality jobs.”

Another related objective of Green Highland is to reduce emissions from the use of natural gas. According to Jane Caparos, they will inject part of the hydrogen into the gas grid. They are compatible sources of energy. “We will build a hydrogen pipeline to take it to the injection point,” he said, “which we will use to partially decarbonize the natural gas grid.” They are planning to start this phase by the end of 2022.

In this way, hydrogen can be mixed into existing gas infrastructure to be used to heat homes, hotels and industries or to generate electricity. The resulting mixture of gas and green hydrogen has a lower emissions footprint than using only gas, a step toward complete decarbonization.

hydrogen blueprint

GREEN HYSLAND also joined hands with parties outside Europe. “We have 30 partners from 11 countries, including Morocco and Chile,” said Jane Caparos. “They want to develop green hydrogen ecosystems, and hydrogen basins have an added value if we can connect to regions inside and outside Europe,” she said.

“Hydrogen basins create new jobs, re-industrialize and create new economic activity,” said Jane Caprose. “And on top of that they decarbonize. It serves society as a whole.”

Once this phase of building and using the infrastructure is completed, the lessons learned will also need to be amplified. HEAVENN and GREEN HYSLAND both want to share what they learn. “We want to be a blueprint for other regions around the world,” concluded Durenkamp. “If this project is successful, we want to share it.”


Spain bets on green hydrogen in clean energy


Provided by Horizon: European Union Research and Innovation Magazine

Citation: Received 23 June 2022 from home to challenge hydrogen oil and gas as a local energy supply (2022, 23 June)

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