Shell and Norsk Hydro join hands to focus on green hydrogen projects

Highlights:

  • While some people are excited about the possibilities of green hydrogen, the industry still faces hurdles.
  • In October, Siemens Energy‘s CEO told reporters that there was “no commercial case” for it at the time.

Activities under the Deal

Norsk Hydro and Shell, the world’s largest fossil fuel company, are looking into the possibility of collaborating on green hydrogen generation projects. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the two sides, according to a statement released by Norway’s Hydro on Tuesday.

Shell and Hydro’s green hydrogen business will emphasize the joint production and supply of hydrogen made from renewable electricity in hubs. It is centered around Hydro and Shell’s business, and where they foresee the strong potential for scaling production for customers in transportation and heavy industry under the terms of the agreement.

The initial goal is to find prospects for the production and supply of renewable hydrogen for their operations as well as the wider market from sites in Europe. “Over time, we intend to expand into new regions and sites,” Hydro stated.

Production of Hydrogen

Hydrogen can be made in a variety of different methods. Electrolysis is one way, which involves breaking water into oxygen and hydrogen using an electric current. Some refer to this process as green or renewable hydrogen if the electricity utilized in it comes from a renewable source like wind or solar.

Currently, fossil fuels are used to generate the great majority of hydrogen. Shell is a significant oil and gas company, but it says it intends to be a zero-emissions energy company by 2050.

The company verified in February that overall oil production peaked in 2019 and that total carbon emissions peaked in 2018, at 1.7 metric gigatonnes per year.

Shell was ordered by a Dutch court earlier this year to take far more aggressive steps to decrease its carbon emissions, to reduce them by 45 percent by 2030 from current levels.

Hydrogen Possibilities

Several prominent corporations have announced green hydrogen initiatives in recent years. A deal regarding the supply and distribution of green hydrogen in the United Kingdom was recently revealed.

After signing a memorandum of understanding with construction equipment manufacturer JCB and Ryze Hydrogen, Australia-based Fortescue Future Industries stated it would become the United Kingdom’s largest provider of green hydrogen.

Fortescue termed it a “multi-billion-pound agreement,” but he was unable to say its worth. In October, Siemens Energy’s CEO discussed the challenges he sees in the green hydrogen sector, telling reporters that there is “no commercial case” for it right now.

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