Ørsted and partners secure UK government funding for hydrogen project
In the United Kingdom (UK), Danish energy utility major Ørsted, together with hydrogen energy solutions provider ITM Power plc and specialist energy consultancy Element Energy, has won government funding for a green hydrogen project. The project aims to demonstrate the delivery of bulk, low-cost and zero-carbon hydrogen through gigawatt-scale polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis, made in the UK.
The Gigastack feasibility study, led by ITM Power, is a six-month project to investigate the potential delivery of bulk, low-cost and zero-carbon hydrogen.
The GBP499 905 (≈ EUR553 501) in funding has been secured as part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) GBP20 million (≈ EUR 22.15 million) Hydrogen Supply Competition, which looks at ways to accelerate the development of low carbon hydrogen supply solutions. The competition winners were announced on August 29, 2019, by Climate Change Minister Lord Duncan,
Using the power of hydrogen could help cut emissions, create jobs and make industrial processes cleaner and greener, benefitting the whole economy as we work towards net-zero by 2050. This innovative project from Ørsted & ITM will help our efforts to roll out hydrogen at scale by the 2030s – a crucial step towards the end of the UK’s contribution to global warming, said Climate Change Minister Lord Duncan.
Reducing the cost of electrolysis
The aim of the project is to identify opportunities to reduce the cost of producing hydrogen through the process of electrolysis, making it a more viable option for the UK’s energy system and for decarbonising industry.
We must continue taking urgent action to limit the damaging effects of climate change. The UK already leads the world in deploying renewable energy and accelerating the use of new technologies, such as green hydrogen, has a crucial role to play in decarbonising industrial processes. We’ve seen the cost of offshore wind reduced dramatically thanks to industry and government working together, and I hope this project can be the start of a similar journey with green hydrogen, said Matthew Wright, UK Managing Director at Ørsted.
Specifically, Gigastack will demonstrate the delivery of bulk, lowcost and zero-carbon hydrogen through gigawatt-scale polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis, manufactured in the UK.
The Gigastack Project seeks to significantly lower the cost of producing green hydrogen by scaling the individual electrolyser stacks to 5 MW and the production process to 1 GW of electrolysis capacity per annum. We are delighted to be working on this important initiative, backed by the UK Government, with Ørsted, the largest supplier of offshore wind in the UK, said Dr Graham Cooley, CEO, ITM Power.
The project aims to dramatically reduce the cost of electrolytic hydrogen through:
- Development of a new 5 MW stack module design to reduce material costs;
- A new semi-automated manufacturing facility with an electrolyser capacity of up to circa 1 GW per annum to increase throughput and decrease labour costs;
- Deployment of very large scale and hence low-cost 100 MW+ electrolyser systems using multiple 5 MW units;
- Innovations in the siting and operation of these large electrolysers to exploit synergies with large GW scale renewable energy deployments.
Green hydrogen key
According to Anders Christian Nordstrøm, Vice President for Hydrogen at Ørsted, “combining renewable power with flexible green hydrogen production is a key part of decarbonising energy systems across Europe and ultimately creating a world that runs entirely on green energy.”
Hydrogen production by electrolysis is a technology with great potential and this Gigastack project is an important step forward as we look to reduce costs and make green hydrogen a viable solution for the energy transformation. It is great to have this support from the UK Government for the project, said Anders Christian Nordstrøm.