BP, Orsted to develop green hydrogen in Germany

Author: Jake Stones

2020/11/10

LONDON (ICIS)--UK-based major BP and Danish utility Orsted will work together on bringing green hydrogen to BP’s Lingen refinery by developing a 50MW electrolyser, the companies announced on 10 November.

The electrolyser is earmarked to come online for 2024, when the European Commission targets 6GW of electrolyser capacity as suggested in its European hydrogen strategy.

According to BP, the running capacity of the electrolyser has the potential to generate one tonne of hydrogen per hour, roughly 8.8 thousand tonnes per year. Given maximum production output based on this rate, the unit would generate around 289GWh/year of hydrogen.

Current demand for hydrogen in Germany is around 55TWh/year, according to the German national hydrogen strategy.

The hydrogen from the project will be generated using offshore wind supplied by Orsted, which has 1.4GW of installed capacity in the German North Sea and an additional 1.2GW planned.

By supplying the electrolyser with renewable power it will produce zero-carbon or green hydrogen, and can be used to replace 20% of the plant’s current fossil-based hydrogen.

Following the successful completion of the initial 50MW electrolyser, the companies have outlined an ambition to build a 500MW electrolyser, which would be used to replace all of the Lingen refinery’s fossil-based hydrogen.

UPSCALING HYDROGEN

Depending on when the 500MW of capacity comes online, such a project size would mean the collaboration could deliver over 10% of the German hydrogen strategy’s 5GW of capacity target for 2030.

Germany’s hydrogen strategy focuses on using hydrogen across numerous spheres of the energy market, covering transport, industry, flex for power generation and use in heating systems.

The strategy also earmarks an additional 5GW of capacity by 2035.

As additional capacity comes online across Europe, overall costs for electrolysers are forecast to drop, with estimates suggesting the price could come down to £400/kW by the mid-2020s, around a 40-50% reduction in capital expenditure relative to today’s prices depending on the electrolyser.