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Hydrogen Power

Hydrogen electrolyzer sales pick up in Europe

Green hydrogen is barreling ahead as several projects pick production technologies

by Craig Bettenhausen
July 27, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 25


A man in a suit gestures toward a fridge-size stack of dark gray plates on a metal rack.
Credit: Nel
Nel’s senior vice president for electrolyzers, Filip Smeets, displays one of the firm’s proton-exchange membrane stacks at the grand opening of its facility in Herøya, Norway.

Green hydrogen, made by splitting water with renewable electricity, is trending as a way to decarbonize industries including chemicals, steel, fertilizers, and heavy transportation. It’s particularly hot in Europe, where a handful of electrolyzer makers recently announced sales to green hydrogen developers.

Plug Power says an undisclosed customer has selected its proton-exchange membrane (PEM) technology for a 100 MW system that will provide 43 metric tons (t) per day of H2 for an oil refinery in Europe. Plug says the green hydrogen will replace H2 made from natural gas, eliminating about 516 t of CO2 emissions per day when the system comes on line in 2024.

On a smaller scale, Plug will provide a pair of 5 MW PEM systems to ReNu Energy for projects in Tasmania, Australia. The combined 4.2 t of daily H2 output will be used for road transportation and added into the local natural gas grid, the firms say.

In Portugal, the chemical maker Bondalti will pay $12 million for a 40 MW alkaline electrolysis system from Nel Hydrogen. Bondalti says it will use the H2 in chemical synthesis, combine it with natural gas for power production, and use it to fuel long-haul transportation vehicles.

And in the Netherlands, the H2 chemistry specialist HyCC has selected McPhy’s next-generation alkaline electrolyzer for the 20 MW green hydrogen project it is calling Djewels. HyCC plans to sell the H2 to OCI Methanol Europe as a renewable feedstock for methanol production.

The European Union has set a target of 10 million t per year of domestic green hydrogen production by 2030, along with 10 million t of imports. The European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, an industry-government consortium, says that goal will require more than 50 times as much electrolyzer capacity as the region has today.

“This is both an unprecedented challenge and a significant industrial opportunity,” the group wrote in a joint declaration last summer.



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