Düsseldorf / Frankfurt The energy technology group Siemens Energy and the wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa want to make the production of hydrogen market-ready with a new technology. In a project costing around 120 million euros, the partners want to develop an offshore wind turbine that uses the electricity generated to produce hydrogen on site and forwards it to customers via pipelines.
The plans that the companies presented to the Reuters news agency are among the largest projects in this country in the hydrogen sector, which is of great importance for the implementation of climate protection goals.
“Hydrogen is an important future topic for us and we are working on it in different ways,” explains Siemens Energy boss Christian Bruch. This also includes producing hydrogen. In the project now presented, called “H2Mare”, hydrogen is to be generated directly at the offshore wind tower. “That has to be as cheap as possible.” In the end, it competes with an offshore wind farm that is connected to the power grid with a cable.
It is now a matter of the partners developing a competitive product by the mid-2020s. As a buyer, one has an eye on industrial companies close to the coast such as steel works, chemical plants or refineries.
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The Munich Siemens-Group had split off its energy technology division and brought it to the stock exchange last year. Siemens Energy is the majority shareholder of Siemens Gamesa – the largest offshore wind turbine manufacturer in the world – with a stake of 67 percent. To be among the toughest competitors Vestas and General Electric.
Hydrogen for offshore industry
“We want to optimize the wind turbine completely for hydrogen production,” says Siemens Gamesa boss Andreas Nauen. “Molecules are produced instead of electrons.” This has many advantages. “You can make the turbine much simpler. You no longer have a network connection. You can get through the coastal areas more easily with the pipes than with cables. ”
The aim is to offer another option and produce cheap green hydrogen. “We have to completely revise our machine, which was actually made for electricity production, completely change the electricity-producing part and connect it to the electrolysis.” The partners developed a hydrogen turbine. “We are targeting our 14 megawatt turbine, which will be our bread and butter turbine in the mid-1920s.”
Hydrogen is considered a key for the energy transition and for the implementation of climate protection goals. There is hardly a company that does not drive projects in this area. Steel companies like Thyssenkrupp or Salzgitter, Energy giants like RWE or chemical companies like Evonik – everyone is there. The EU expects investments in this area of up to 470 million euros and up to one million new jobs by 2050. The federal government has made available nine billion euros to advance the issue.
More: Mega project aims to bring green hydrogen from Spain to Germany