Shell and RWE work on green hydrogen development

Hydrogen

Germany Shell New Energies NL (Shell) and RWE Generation (RWE) will pursue ambitious projects to produce, use and distribute green hydrogen as well as additional options to decarbonize RWE gas and biomass-fired power plants in northwest Europe.

At the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland near Cologne, RWE CEO Markus Krebber and Royal Dutch Shell Director Wael Sawan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) recently. For the purpose of the MoU, the goal is to identify concrete project options that can be developed into investment decisions.

Achieving climate neutrality in large-scale industrial production and processing requires the use of hydrogen. Hydrogen production without CO2 emissions is the only way many companies can meet their environmental goals. Thus, demand for green and blue hydrogen is on the rise and the two companies want to focus on this opportunity.

The pioneering projects NortH2 in the Netherlands and AquaVentus in Germany have already established a positive history of cooperation between RWE and Shell. In the north-east of England, integrated projects for the production of green hydrogen using offshore wind power on a gigawatt scale will also be examined (e.g., Teesside and/or Humberside). It is hoped that RWE and Shell will work together to assess the future development of electrolysis plants to produce green hydrogen and consider locations that have pipeline capacity for hydrogen but are currently difficult to connect to the electric grid RWE and Shell want to see if and how hydrogen pipelines can be used to transport green energy from these locations to customers.

New green hydrogen solutions for industrial customers will be developed by both RWE and Shell in the immediate vicinity of their respective plants in Germany, Rotterdam and Moerdijk.

The two companies, RWE and Shell, plan to conduct further research into the potential use of green hydrogen in the mobility sector in Europe. Shell’s 2024 plan to build a hydrogen truck station network between Rotterdam, Cologne, and Hamburg could serve as a good starting point.

It was agreed in the MoU that RWE’s gas and biomass power plants would be examined for technical alternatives to decarbonization, such as CO2 capture and storage. RWE’s gas-fired power plants in Pembroke (Wales), Emsland (Germany), and Moerdijk (the Netherlands) will also be examined for the use of blue hydrogen. Shell could produce and supply hydrogen while also capturing and storing CO2 if the project progressed. As hydrogen and CO2 transportation infrastructure grows, the results of this trial could be transferred to other RWE sites.

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Wim Raaijen
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