Eesti Energia, the Estonian state-owned energy company, is charting an ambitious course toward embracing green hydrogen as a linchpin in its future energy endeavors. Despite facing challenges such as high current prices and infrastructure development, the company envisions a pivotal role for hydrogen, particularly in propelling the growth of its chemical industry.
Eesti Energia’s overarching goal is to increasingly incorporate green hydrogen, derived from renewable energy sources, into its energy portfolio. While planning to construct hydrogen and gas power plants in the coming years, the company acknowledges a transitional phase where industrial hydrogen (blue hydrogen) will be utilized due to the current scarcity of renewable energy for green hydrogen production.
The envisioned hydrogen applications include employing hydrogen in a hydrogen-capable combined cycle gas turbine, with plans to extend its use to the transport sector. Eesti Energia has applied for co-financing to establish a green hydrogen integrated circuit, producing hydrogen for transportation. The company’s initial focus is on creating a hydrogen value chain, from production using electrolysis to building filling stations.
Eesti Energia’s plans extend beyond energy to significant job creation and economic contribution. The Gove project is expected to generate up to 2,000 construction jobs and 500 direct and indirect jobs over 25 years. The chemical industry is poised to become a major consumer of hydrogen, fostering development and export-oriented growth.
While hydrogen production by electrolysis (green hydrogen) is less efficient than blue hydrogen, Eesti Energia anticipates a decline in green hydrogen prices with increased renewable energy production. The efficiency challenges and energy losses during hydrogen storage and distribution are acknowledged, emphasizing the importance of swift consumption following production for sustainability.