Germany simply took a step nearer to discovering a long-term, greener alternative for Russian pure gasoline and coal.
German energy producer RWE
(RWEOY) and Norwegian state-owned vitality agency Equinor on Thursday introduced plans to construct hydrogen-fueled energy crops in Germany over the subsequent few years, in addition to a significant pipeline between the 2 nations to feed them.
The settlement — which isn’t but legally binding — is a part of Germany’s efforts to section out all coal-fired energy stations by 2030 and decarbonize its vitality sector. Berlin has pivoted dramatically away from Russia as a supply of vitality since its invasion of Ukraine, and desires to search out safe different suppliers.
“Through this collaboration we will strengthen the long-term energy security for Europe’s leading industrial country,” Anders Opedal, Equinor’s CEO and president, mentioned in a joint assertion.
The facility crops, collectively owned by RWE and Equinor, will initially run on pure gasoline produced in Norway earlier than transitioning to “blue” hydrogen, additionally produced in Norway utilizing pure gasoline and pumped by way of the underwater pipeline, the businesses mentioned.
Greater than 95% of the carbon dioxide emitted in the course of the manufacturing of hydrogen will probably be captured and saved below the seabed, they added. Equinor plans to develop a 2 gigawatt manufacturing capability for “blue” hydrogen by 2030.
The last word purpose is to generate so-called “green” hydrogen utilizing renewable vitality produced by offshore wind farms, they mentioned, with out offering goal dates.
The European Union has a goal to construct a 40 gigawatt renewable hydrogen manufacturing capability by 2030.
“There is an urgent need for a rapid ramp up of the hydrogen economy,” Markus Krebber, RWE’s chief government, mentioned within the assertion. “Blue hydrogen in large quantities can make a start, with subsequent conversion into green hydrogen supply.”
The businesses didn’t state what number of energy crops they intend to construct, or the worth of their joint investments.
Norway is now Europe’s largest provider of pure gasoline, in keeping with EU official statistics. Ever since Russia began slashing its exports to the bloc in retaliation for European sanctions over the battle in Ukraine, the Nordic nation has ramped up its personal exports to assist fill the hole.
“In the midst of the energy crisis, we see how important Norway is as a reliable supplier of gas to Europe, but we also see how crucial it is that we switch more quickly to more renewable energy.” Norwegian prime minister Jonas Gahr Stoere advised reporters in Oslo on Thursday, in keeping with a Reuters report.
Simply earlier than Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, Germany scrapped plans to make use of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was constructed by Gazprom to ship as much as 55 billion cubic meters of pure gasoline per yr — or greater than half of Germany’s annual consumption.
Within the months that adopted, Russia dramatically lower flows of pure gasoline by way of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Flows on that pipeline stopped altogether in August when it shut for repairs. It didn’t reopen.
Each pipelines had been hit a month later by a collection of explosions. Denmark and Sweden have mentioned the infrastructure was intentionally focused, and Sweden’s safety service has mentioned that it can’t be dominated out “that a foreign power is behind it.”
Suspicion has fallen on Russia as the one actor within the area believed to have each the aptitude and motivation to intentionally harm the pipelines. The Kremlin has denied putting the pipelines.
After the explosions, NATO vowed to mount a “united and determined response” if the harm proved to be deliberate.
— Charles Riley and Julia Horowitz contributed reporting.