Offshore hydrogen production is becoming increasingly attractive, especially from an economic point of view. René Peters from TNO presented the case for this method at the OEEC conference and stressed that moving hydrogen production offshore could have a significant impact on the European hydrogen market.

At the OEEC conference, René Peters, Director of Natural Gas Trade at TNO, presented the reasons why it is more advantageous and economically viable to produce hydrogen offshore than onshore. In his speech, he stressed that switching hydrogen production offshore could have a significant impact on the European hydrogen market.

"It goes without saying because there is a convention that anything that can be done on land is cheaper than offshore. On the other hand, if you need to transfer energy from one carrier, electricity, to another and you lose some energy along the way, it is better to transfer as close to the source as possible. That also drives hydrogen production seaward," Peters said.

While the target for hydrogen production in the Netherlands is around three to four gigawatts in 2030, at the European level there is an ambition to reach forty gigawatts of hydrogen production, all of which is more or less linked to offshore wind farms.

Peters further stressed that the entire North Sea is undergoing a transformation. To achieve these goals, industry players need to find appropriate and sustainable ways of producing energy, especially when it comes to hydrogen. These initiatives are not only linked to the Netherlands, but also to Germany, the UK and Denmark. "We think there is a real push towards offshore hydrogen production, and it could be even faster than we think."

Peters also discussed the challenges of building infrastructure for offshore hydrogen production, highlighting that existing oil and gas infrastructure, depleted fields and pipelines, could be used to produce hydrogen. The PosHYdon project, developed with Nexstep and industry partners, is the first step towards large-scale hydrogen production from offshore wind.

TNO is a non-profit organisation based in the Netherlands. It is an independent research organisation that focuses on the development of new technologies and innovations in various fields including energy, healthcare, defence, security and sustainability. Its aim is to provide companies and governments with expertise and support to address complex technological and societal challenges. TNO has a long history in research and is known for its projects within Europe and globally.

Source: Offshore energy, TNO

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