According to Delta-EE, Europe will have 2.7 GW of operational hydrogen electrolyzer capacity by 2025.
This is largely due to public support for the EU green agreement and the IPCEI Hydrogen program in the EU. “However, time is running out to develop the hundreds of megawatt-scale projects required to meet an EU objective of 6 GW by 2024,” the business added.
According to the new Global Hydrogen Intelligence Service from the Scottish consultancy, Germany has roughly half of all European electrolyzer capacity, with no other country having more than 10 MW installed. “The sector is rapidly increasing; the first significant projects in a number of countries (e.g., Spain, the Netherlands, and Denmark) will be in the tens of megawatts in 2021/22 and will rocket to the hundreds [of] megawatts by 2025. Electrolyzer producers, such as Nel Hydrogen, ITM Power, Cummins, and McPhy, are “all building plants capable of producing hundreds of megawatts, if not gigawatts of electrolyzers a year,” according to the company.
According to the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas, ENTSOG; the European association of gas infrastructure operators, GIE; and Hydrogen Europe, a European association representing the hydrogen industry’s interests, the competitiveness of different transportation options for hydrogen depends on the distance over which hydrogen is transported, as well as scale and end-use. “Hydrogen must be liquefied or carried as ammonia or in liquid organic hydrogen carriers if it is to be exported internationally (LOHCs). “Transporting hydrogen as a gas by pipeline is generally the most cost-effective delivery method for distances under 1,500 kilometers; above 1,500 kilometers, shipping hydrogen as ammonia or a LOHC may be more cost-effective,” stated the three European associations in a study last month. They regard blending as a “simple entry point into the hydrogen economy,” describing it as a cost-effective transitional alternative despite the necessary adjustments and investments, particularly in compressors.
“Different compressor models react differently to hydrogen blends,” the paper says, adding that the amount of money needed will depend on the amount of hydrogen. A complete conversion to a hydrogen pipeline will include the installation of new turbines or motors, as well as new compressors. The financial concerns will thereafter be heavily influenced by capacity.
“Some gas TSO analyses suggest that operating hydrogen pipelines at less than full capacity results in substantially lower transport costs per megawatt-hour conveyed, as additional, expensive, high-capacity compressor units – and associated energy consumption – can be avoided.”
Although methane has three times the calorific heating value of hydrogen per cubic meter, “the same gas pipeline currently conveying primarily natural gas can transport nearly three times as many cubic meters of hydrogen within a given period and hence deliver nearly the same amount of energy.”
Methane is a much larger molecule than hydrogen. According to the paper, the system’s tightness and the material utilized for sealing must be chosen correspondingly. The cost of converting ordinary transmission pipelines to transport 100 percent hydrogen is projected to be between €0.2 million and €0.6 million per kilometer.
The three organizations also stated that there are presently no EU-wide technical criteria for the quality of hydrogen transmitted in gaseous form through specialized hydrogen pipelines. In the paper, the groups also evaluate final transportation prices (levelized costs of €2.30 to €4.40 for the transmission of 1 MWh across 1,000km); the significance of Europe in active projects; hydrogen storage (in salt caverns); and the significance of ports and offshore platforms.