E.ON, Enel and Iberdrola partner to meet growing hydrogen demand in Germany

Image: akitada31 from Pixabay

Power Engineering International

German utility E.ON is partnering with Italian utility Enel and Spanish energy company Iberdrola to create a hydrogen production and distribution network in the Ruhr region in Germany.

E.ON plans to produce 80,000 metric tons of hydrogen per year as part of the H2.Ruhr hydrogen program.

The initiative aims to produce hydrogen and green ammonia to meet the growing demand from municipalities, as well as medium-sized and industrial companies.

The demand for hydrogen in the Ruhr region will grow from 17TWh annually today to 150TWh in 2050, according to E.ON. The increase in demand is due to efforts by companies and government agencies to decarbonize operations.

Enel will export green electricity to Germany for the production of green hydrogen and ammonia as part of the project.

E.ON will develop a 20MW electrolyzer by 2025, which will be powered using renewable energy from Enel, and a network by 2032 to distribute hydrogen between Duisburg and Dortmund. The hydrogen will also be fed directly into the main grid.

With Iberdrola, E.ON will produce green ammonia and hydrogen using renewables and then transport the energy by ship to meet demand in Germany. The project is expected to start importing to Germany in 2024.

Leonhard Birnbaum, the CEO of E.ON, said: “Green hydrogen is the only truly sustainable option for decarbonizing industrial processes. For this, we will require much more hydrogen in Germany long term, than we can produce ourselves.

“What we need are strong pan-European partnerships and efficient supply chains, which must be established now.”

Katherina Reiche, the CEO of Westenergie AG, added that green hydrogen is the only way large corporations and medium-sized companies can achieve climate goals.

She said the development of a green hydrogen network and economy will support thousands of green jobs in Germany. She reiterated that the sooner companies in the Ruhr region switch to green hydrogen the faster the energy transition in Germany will be.

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  • Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering, POWERGEN International and the online POWERGEN+ series. He is a 13-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper journalist and trade publication editor. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and rod.walton@clarionevents.com.

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