In the manufacturing of petroleum-based fuels, refineries require a lot of hydrogen. Gray hydrogen is still produced from natural gas at the moment. The CO2 impact of the fuels is minimized by using green hydrogen, which is produced using renewable power.
This week, the Cabinet determined that, at least until 2030, these fuels will be classified as renewable fuel units (HBEs). That’s fantastic news for BP, which is highly invested in hydrogen and is working with hydrogen startup HyCC to develop a 250-megawatt electrolyzer at the Rotterdam port.
Hydrogen is only green if the power used to produce it is traceable. As a result, BP aims to construct a wind farm in the North Sea. The business hopes to enable 500 megawatts of electrolysis in the Netherlands using green energy from this wind farm. It will be able to create around 50,000 tons of green hydrogen per year as a result of this. BP intends to utilize this to make the Rotterdam refinery more environmentally friendly.
Green hydrogen is the only use
Karen de Lathouder states, “That green hydrogen can already be used in the refinery today.” She has been CEO of BP Nederland and manager of the Rotterdam refinery since the beginning of this year. It is, according to De Lathouder, the only means to generate huge numbers now. hydrogen that’s green. “At the time, green hydrogen has no other application except in manufacturing. That is true.”
“Hydrogen is critical to BP’s long-term sustainability strategy,” says Felipe Arbelaez. He is responsible for the company’s global hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) initiatives as Senior Vice President of Hydrogen & CCS. “By 2030, we intend to own 10% of the hydrogen market in the world’s most significant areas.” That’s important.”
Green and blue hydrogen
This isn’t simply about green hydrogen like the H2-fifty initiative suggests. According to Albelaez, blue hydrogen created from natural gas with CO2 recovered qualifies as sustainable. “We believe both types of hydrogen have a part in the energy revolution, therefore we’re investing in both.”
For example, BP is working on the H-Vision project in Rotterdam, which is looking at whether leftover gases may be used to make hydrogen for industrial use. The CO2 emitted will be caught and stored in a North Sea gas field that is now idle.
Carbon Capture Storage can be implemented easily
Blue hydrogen makes sense, according to Albelaez, especially in refineries. Because the CCS approach is simple to implement. “CO2 capture and storage technology is already completely established. On a broad scale, this is already possible. Of course, energy is wasted, and this is costly. However, in many circumstances, it is the most cost-effective option to reduce CO2 emissions.”
This does not change the fact that the use of blue hydrogen and CO2 capture has been criticized since it does not contribute much to the transition. Because CCS allows the old polluting sector to continue operating, there is no incentive to truly become more sustainable.
“It makes sense to start with what costs the least and for which technology is currently accessible,” Albelaez explains.
“It’s not only that we want to generate money and pretend everything is well,” De Lathouder continues. “We are not going to keep doing what we were doing with the CO2. We want to make the shift as rapidly as possible by having the most potential impact. It’s also a question of time. If you wait until it is 100 percent sustainable, you will be disappointed. You will waste significant time if you can when we can already do it.”
Hydrogen for gasoline, diesel, and kerosene
The question of whether using green hydrogen to manufacture fossil fuels is sustainable remains unanswered. “We manufacture fuels,” says De Lathouder. Is that realistic? New. They are, nevertheless, fuels that are still in high demand. How will we decarbonize the globe while preserving our current level of prosperity? How are we going to accomplish that while continuing to drive and flying to Marbella? You can no longer take people’s automobiles. However, make the fuel more long-lasting.”
According to Albelaez, there is no scarcity of CO2 storage capacity. “We believe we can store 12,000 gigatons of CO2 globally.” The question is whether or not all of this will be put to good use. We are building a CO2 storage facility in the United Kingdom that will be able to store 12 to 15 million tons of CO2 per year. That is about the CO2 emissions of Rotterdam’s industrial region. This might take anywhere from thirty to fifty years.”
CCS is a short-term solution
De Lathouder notes that the solution is just temporary. “We can come up with applications in the meanwhile.” You are free to remove it and use it. For example, it might be used to create synthetic fuels. We don’t want to leave it alone. It is, after all, energy.”
Both hydrogen projects in Rotterdam have yet to get a final investment decision (H-Vision and H2-fifty). It remains to be seen if they will go through.
Albelaez says: “For 97 percent of the hydrogen projects in Europe, no final investment decision has been made. Hydrogen holds a lot of promise. However, many parts must fall into place before the hundreds of millions of dollars can be invested.”
De Lathouder says, “I now manage my refinery as though H2-fifty continues.” “This project has my full support.” We are already investing millions of dollars in the design of the hydrogen network and burners without receiving any subsidies. Because otherwise, I’ll be late. That also demonstrates our faith in it. “
According to De Lathouder, the industry in the Netherlands has a terrible image. The slogan is that seeing is believing. “So, once again, we must first prove ourselves. People, on the other hand, want everything at once: low-cost, sustainable energy without a windmill in the garden, and no changes to our way of life. That is a conundrum. How do we all work together and stay less polarized, because we all want the same thing in the end?”