Paint and chemicals giant AkzoNobel has unveiled plans to build Europe’s largest “green hydrogen” production plant, with the company’s energy director telling edie of the technology’s potential to enable the decarbonisation of the UK economy. While the notion of a hydrogen-based economy has been around for decades, it has so far failed to fully transpire. Most hydrogen produced today is used in the petrochemical industry and for manufacturing fertilizers, with virtually all of it deriving from fossil fuel reform, meaning that the climate benefits have been limited at best. But a scalable and low-carbon alternative is available through water electrolysis, and numerous attempts are now being made to apply “green hydrogen” to applications such as energy storage and industrial feedstock for fuel cell vehicles. The latest attempt was announced last week, when AkzoNobel revealed it had teamed up with gas network operator Gasunie to build a 20MW water electrolysis unit in the Northern Netherlands. The businesses say that the plant will convert excess renewable electricity such as wind and solar power into 3,000 tonnes of green hydrogen a year, which can then be used by Akzo’s speciality chemicals division or be sold to third parties, such as public transport firms using hydrogen buses. The Northern part of Netherlands is seen as an ideal location to develop a green hydrogen economy, due to the large-scale production and import of green electricity, the existing chemical industry, the existing gas transmission infrastructure, as well as the knowledge and expertise of companies such as Akzo and Gasunie.
Edie 17th Jan 2018 read more »