Green hydrogen is defined as hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources. Around 97% of Norwegian electricity production comes from hydropower and with 15 TWh of excess capacity currently available, new ways of utilising this green power are needed. In the form of hydrogen, surplus and trapped renewable energy can be stored, distributed and made accessible to growing zero emission markets, both in Norway and abroad, placing our country in a unique position when it comes to green hydrogen production.
When setting up a hydrogen production plant, the question of whether to place the facility close to the consumer or close to the power production is raised. As the sale price of hydrogen will be a result of the production and the transportation costs this will vary depending on the location of the consumer and of the power source. The production price is significantly reduced by setting up large scale production facilities, but to keep the transportation costs down you need large consumers nearby.
Norway has a large production of natural gas with a yearly export of nearly 1000 TWh. For the Norwegian gas industry, hydrogen could provide a new market and even if green energy from renewable energy is the favourable solution in a climate perspective, hydrogen with CCS (carbon capture storage) could boost the transition by securing stable large-scale production from existing facilities.
However, hydrogen from natural gas with CCS is only economically viable in large scale, several hundred tonnes per day and close to existing CCS infrastructure, leaving room for green hydrogen to cover most of the domestic market in Norway where smaller projects in the range of a few hundred kilos per day to some tonnes per day will be the typical project size.
Hydrogen has some fantastic characteristics as a zero-emission energy carrier. It has very high energy to weight density and only emits water. It can be produced anywhere from renewable energy and works very well as a range extender in existing electrical drive lines. However, hydrogen must not be seen as the only solution. Hydrogen will, in combination with batteries and a share of sustainable biofuel, play a key role in the transition to a 100% zero emission transport.
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