Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier that will serve the transition to a zero-carbon economy in many industries. It is already widely used in the chemical and refining industries. The first implementations can also be found in the metallurgical, energy, glass and cement industries.
The most mature and widespread applications of hydrogen can be found in the field of transportation - from forklifts, cars, buses and trains, ships to airplanes and space rockets. The development of this technology will be supported by EU funds, which has focused on hydrogen in its energy transition strategy.
About 90 percent of hydrogen is produced and used in the fertilizer and refining industries. Hydrogen is also produced as a by-product in the chemical industry. The future lies in producing hydrogen from renewable sources - primarily by electrolysis, but also by biomass gasification
Only 15 percent of global hydrogen production is used off-site and transported as compressed gas or cryogenic liquid. This implies investment in infrastructure - from storage, pipeline transmission to liquefaction or transport as compressed gas.
Hydrogen valleys are regional ecosystems. The development will be based on the local production of hydrogen, which is transported over short distances. The basis is local demand based on the production of energy from renewable sources. This changing perspective will include education, research and development, implementation and industrial applications.
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In the Norwegian town of Heroya, the hydrogen company NEL has launched the world's first fully automated electrolyser factory. Its owners announce that by 2025 production of green hydrogen will become cheaper and will cost as much as production of hydrogen from natural gas. Among the company's customers are Polish companies.
Currently, the production of green hydrogen, which is completely emission-free, is expensive, which deters many companies, so the Norwegians' goal is to produce hydrogen for less than $1.5 per kilogram from 2025. This will require a reduction in the present capital expenditure to produce it to 25 % of current levels.
Half of the savings we need to achieve will come from scaling up and increasing production efficiency. The remainder will result from economies of scale and effective cooperation with industrial partners
," announced Jon André Løkke, NEL's CEO
-Meeting the target would bring the price of green hydrogen on par with most fossil fuels, which would be one of the most important developments in the move towards climate neutrality, Løkke added.
The Norwegian plant stands out from other companies of this type in that it is fully automated. It is the first plant in the world to manufacture electrolysis equipment with complete automation. These devices are crucial for the generation of “green hydrogen” With electrolysers, water is split into hydrogen and oxygen.
NEL is seeking to industrialise its PEM technology, i. e. proton exchange membrane electrolyser in the USA. The company also develops very dynamically ideas for electrolysers with an output of up to 800 MW and greater.
The Norwegians are proud of this innovative company on Heroya Island. At the opening ceremony, the Norwegian Minister of Oil and Energy Terje Lien Aasland stressed that the electrolysers manufactured there, will be marked “Made in Norway”
- Norway has a competitive and competent industrial environment which can contribute to the development of hydrogen technology. “Not only on Heroya Island”, the Minister added.
As of today, the plant has a production capacity of 500 MW, and continued development could result in an increase of up to 2 GW. The company is setting the bar high and aims to reach a total of 10 GW of production capacity by 2025.
- We are excited to enter another country in Europe with our H2Station fuel solutions. We see attractive market opportunities in Poland and are proud that ZE PAK, which is a leading energy company in Poland with interesting plans to build a green hydrogen value chain, has chosen our fuel solutions," said Jens Egholt, general manager of NEL's international sales, at the time.
Polish companies are also sourcing from the world leader in the design and manufacture of hydrogen solutions. In 2021, the first order for a hydrogen fuel station in Poland was placed by the ZE PAK energy group. Its value amounts to EUR 3.2 million.
Cooperation with Nel, a world leader in hydrogen solutions, is particularly important for us, as it will allow the best and highest quality fuel solutions to be introduced in Poland
added Zygmunt Artwik, Vice President of the Management Board of ZE PAK SA
Biproraf, a company belonging to the Gdańsk-based ASE Technology Group, has also placed an order for a H2Station hydrogen fuel station. It will be used in our country to power light and truck vehicles and forklifts. The hydrogen filling station will consist of one station module and two dispensers. Time of filling up a passenger vehicle will be less than five minutes, and less than twenty minutes for a truck vehicle.