New infrastructure needed if Europe to reap full rewards of future multi-gigawatt offshore H2 production, says innovation chief Poul Skjærbæk
As per Recharger News, Europe urgently needs to start planning a “multi-billion euro” distribution network fit for green hydrogen produced offshore if it wants it to play a major role in decarbonisation, said one of the leading figures developing wind technology for renewable H2 as he called on the EU to take a lead role.
Poul Skjærbæk, chief innovation and product officer at Siemens Gamesa, said that while work on the technical challenges of integrating electrolysers and offshore wind turbines is already well underway, massive deployment of projects in the North Sea will be impossible without the means to send the output to where it is needed.
“The technology [of renewable production] I’m not so worried about,” Skjærbæk told Recharge at WindEurope’s Electric City event in Copenhagen. “Infrastructure is the challenging part. We know the challenges of the electricity grid – this is just so much bigger.
Although the existing natural gas network could be upgraded to some extent, the Siemens Gamesa official claimed major new additional capacity will be needed to tap the full potential of offshore green H2.
While there is some tentative exploratory work by the gas industry, Skjærbæk claimed ultimately “some sort of political push” will be needed to spur what would be “a multi-billion investment to make a central connection into the North Sea to serve Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany”, with backing from the EU “a good place to start”.