Groningen hydrogen consortium attracts two major EU energy providers
Two major players in the European energy world are joining a consortium that aims to make Groningen the pivot of the green hydrogen economy. Norwegian company Equinor and German company RWE have joined the NortH2 project, Dagblad van het Noorden reports.
The NortH2 consortium wants to boost the international green hydrogen market. It aims to achieve this with the construction of new offshore wind farms that must generate 4 Gigawatts of energy in 2030 and 10 Gigawats in 2040, and large-scale production with electrolysers. In 20 years' time, the consortium wants to produce 1 million tons of green hydrogen per year. According to NortH2, this will cut CO2 emissions by 8 to 10 megatons per year.
A first feasibility study showed that the social costs of a large-scale approach will be around 20 percent lower than with a small-scale approach, the consortium said to the newspaper. The study by the University of Groningen showed that the project could generate up to 1,200 permanent jobs. And the construction phase will involve a multitude of employment opportunities.
"This expansion is in line with the project's international ambitions," Cas Konig, CEO of Groningen Seaports, said to the newspaper. Groningen Seaports, Gasunie, and Shell together launched NortH2 in February. "We always had the plan to make the consortium international. The reason we started with the three of us is that we wanted speed."
Konig is delighted with their new partners. "Equinor is a very large player in the offshore wind sector. So that was a natural choice. This also applies to RWE, an energy giant with strong hydrogen ambitions."
Anders Opedal, CEO of Equinor, called NortH2 a groundbreaking project that is important for his company's goal of being CO2 neutral by 2050. RWE CEO Roger Miesen said that Groningen's ambitions tie in well with his company's plans for green hydrogen. RWE wants to build an electrolyser for the production of green hydrogen in Eemshaven in the Netherlands and in Lingen in Germany.
The biggest doubts surrounding this project are about the large amount of extra green energy it will require. But according to Konig, that is exactly why NortH2 is involving the entire chain in the power production field. "Of course, the large-scale wind and hydrogen production will not happen overnight. But if you want something done the day after tomorrow, you have to start doing it today."