German power specialist RWE has signed an agreement with Neptune Energy to develop a green hydrogen demonstration project in the Dutch North Sea.
The project aims for a capacity of 300 to 500 megawatts.
The project is seeking funding from the Dutch national growth fund and a spokesman for RWE said it was too early to quantify investments for the group until it was clear how much external funding would be available.
In a statement, the firms said the goal is for H2opZee project to be developed before 2030.
“Hydrogen is a gamechanger in the decarbonisation of energy-intensive sectors, and H2opZee is among the world’s first projects of this kind and scale,” Sven Utermöhlen, RWE Renewables’ CEO for offshore wind, said.
The companies said H2opZee would produce green hydrogen using offshore wind, with an existing pipeline used to funnel the hydrogen to shore. The pipeline’s capacity ranges between 10 to 12 gigawatts, the companies said.
“The energy transition can be faster, cheaper and cleaner if we integrate existing gas infrastructure into new systems,” Lex de Groot, who is managing director of Neptune Energy in the Netherlands, said.
“This infrastructure is technically suitable. As a result … no new pipeline at sea is needed and no new landfall needs to be made through the coastal area.”
While there is excitement in some quarters about green hydrogen’s potential, the vast majority of hydrogen generation continues to be based on fossil fuels.