Siemens Energy, Gamesa plan ‘game-changing’ hydrogen solution

By Jack Burke13 January 2021

Goal is to help decarbonize sectors including transport, heavy industry

Calling it a “game-changing” decarbonization solution, Siemens Energy and Siemens Gamesa said they will work together to develop a commercial offshore wind turbine that produces hydrogen by electrolysis.

Siemens Gamesa will adapt its SG14-222 DD offshore wind turbine to integrate an electrolysis system into the turbine’s operations. By leveraging Siemens Gamesa’s knowledge and experience with offshore wind, electric losses are reduced to a minimum, while a modular approach ensures a reliable and efficient operational set-up for a scalable offshore wind-hydrogen solution., the companies said. Siemens Energy will develop a new electrolysis product to not only meet the needs of the harsh maritime offshore environment and be in perfect sync with the wind turbine but also to create a new competitive benchmark for green hydrogen.

The ultimate fully integrated offshore wind-to-hydrogen solution will produce green hydrogen using an electrolyzer array located at the base of the offshore wind turbine tower, thereby offeringoffshore hydrogen production.

“Together with Siemens Gamesa, we are in a unique position to develop this game-changing solution,” said Christian Bruch, CEO of Siemens Energy. “We are the company that can leverage its highly flexible electrolyzer technology and create and redefine the future of sustainable offshore energy production. With these developments, the potential of regions with abundant offshore wind will become accessible for the hydrogen economy. It is a prime example of enabling us to store and transport wind energy, thus reducing the carbon footprint of economy.”

Over a timeframe of five years, Siemens Gamesa plans to invest EUR 80 million and Siemens Energy is targeting to invest EUR 40 million in the developments.

The solution will lower the cost of hydrogen by being able to run off-grid, opening up more and better wind sites. The developments will serve as a test bed for making large-scale, cost-efficient hydrogen production a reality and will prove the feasibility of reliable, effective implementation of wind turbines in systems for producing hydrogen from renewable energy, the companies said.

Siemens Energy owns 67% of Siemens Gamesa, the world’s largest offshore wind turbine maker.

Currently, 80 million tons of hydrogen are produced each year and production is expected to increase by about 20 million tons by 2030. Just 1% of that hydrogen is currently generated from green energy sources. The bulk is obtained from natural gas and coal, emitting 830 million tons of CO2 per year, more than the entire nation of Germany or the global shipping industry, the companies said. Replacing this current polluting consumption would require 820 GW of wind generating capacity, 26% more than the current global installed wind capacity. Looking further ahead, many studies suggest that by 2050 production will have grown to about 500 million tons with a significant shift to green hydrogen. The expected growth will require between 1000 GW and 4000 GW of renewable capacity by 2050 to meet demand, which highlights the vast potential for growth in wind power, the companies said.

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