Green hydrogen and the switch to a secure, ‘climate-friendly’ gas-based energy supply

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From pv magazine Germany.

Siemens and the Uniper fossil fuels business spun out of German energy giant E.on have been working together for years and have announced a cooperation agreement aimed at decarbonizing power generation and driving sector coupling.

Part of the newly-announced initiative will focus on the production and use of green hydrogen.

The partners will assess what proportion of Uniper’s natural gas assets could host hydrogen produced using renewable electricity. Uniper plans to shutter or repurpose its coal-fired power fleet within five years as part of a bid for climate-neutral power generation by 2035 and is examining the role green hydrogen can play, not least by supplanting natural gas. Siemens Gas and Power will provide technical support.

Brownfield sites

A planned series of “brownfield transformation” projects will decarbonize coal-fired power plants and reduce the carbon footprint of Uniper’s gas-facilities. The integration of energy storage into the green hydrogen loop is envisioned.

Siemens can establish power-to-gas infrastructure to decarbonize electricity and heat generation from renewables or natural gas, as well as green hydrogen electrolysis technology.

Uniper already generates green hydrogen at German power-to-gas plants built in Falkenhagen in 2013 and in Hamburg at a facility constructed two years later. The company, which was spun out of E.on in 2016, also participates in the “cross-sector real laboratories” program funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics in order to bring down the cost of green hydrogen.

“After the coal phase-out and the switch to a secure, gas-based energy supply, the use of climate-friendly gas is a big step towards the success of the energy transition,” said Uniper chief executive Andreas Schierenbeck.