German multinational MAN Energy has announced a milestone that is expected to help accelerate decarbonization through the increased use of hydrogen in power generation.
MAN Energy has announced the readiness of its gas engines to incorporate hydrogen.
The company’s 35/44G TS, 51/60G, and 51/60G TS gas engines are now able to generate electricity using a mixture of hydrogen (25%) and gas.
MAN Energy says the achievement will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in power generation.
The hydrogen-combusting capability enables MAN Energy’s gas engines to meet Level B requirements of the European Engine Power Plants Association’s (EUGINE) H2-readiness standard.
Dr Gunnar Stiesch, head of engineering engines at MAN Energy Solutions, said: “Flexible and decentralized, gas-fired power plants will play a decisive role for a secure power-supply on the pathway towards 100% renewable energy.
“The CO2 emissions of these power plants can be further reduced by mixing the fuel gas with hydrogen. Green hydrogen is still a scarce commodity and therefore our engines offer operators full flexibility within the scope of the admixture possible in the existing gas network. At the same time, we are working on future concepts that will enable hydrogen fuelling of up to 100% as soon as it becomes available in large quantities.”
The announcement comes at a time the globe is rushing to decarbonize hard-to-abate industries, using hydrogen to deliver a cost-effective energy transition. Research company Wood Mackenzie predicts that the global demand for hydrogen will increase by six times to 530 Mt by 2050. Demand in the UK alone is expected to reach 10TWh in 2030 and 37TWh by 2050, according to Cornwall Insight.
However, the lack of infrastructure for production, storage, transportation, and integration is hindering or slowing down the pace at which hydrogen can become a mainstream resource. However, energy stakeholders are considering using existing gas transportation infrastructure to address the challenge of distribution and blending hydrogen with gas to decarbonize, whilst developing solutions that enable the use of 100% hydrogen to produce low-carbon electricity.
There are also a number of innovation projects that are focusing on the development of smart energy meters that are able to measure hydrogen only. If successful, these projects will enable the UK for instance, to accelerate the development of hydrogen-only houses and communities.
Stiesch, added: “We are focusing our R&D efforts on offering our customers maximum operational flexibility and future-proofness. The development of a hydrogen economy will take several years, during which time the infrastructure will be upgraded and the production of green hydrogen ramped up. In the German natural-gas grid, for example, a maximum admixture of up to 10% is currently possible; in the future, 20% will be feasible. With our engines, power-plant operators are optimally positioned for this situation.”