MUNICH (Energet) – Companies in Germany and Scotland are looking to test the production and transport of green hydrogen in a model project. They rely on the large wind potential off the Scottish coasts and the experience of oil and gas production in the country. The first hydrogen could reach Germany by ship as early as 2022. The project is coordinated by the auditing company KPMG from Munich. The Scottish-Bavarian Economic Initiative which has been in existence since 2017 serves as the basis. “With regard to the import of hydrogen, Southern Europe and North Africa are the focus of many considerations. However, Northern Europe, ie the Scandinavian countries or Great Britain, is not only close, but also has extremely high potential for wind power. ” Sylvia Tress, Director and Specialist in Supply Chain Management at KPMG explains in conversation with Energize.
About 25 percent of the European capacity to generate offshore wind power is located off the coast of Scotland alone. The country is already producing more wind power than it can use. With related consequences: Between 2010 and 2018, operators received half a billion euros to regulate their wind farms. This is one reason the Scottish government would like to position itself as a hydrogen exporter (Energet Report). Second: Hydrogen can present new possibilities for companies looking for gas and oil in the country.
pipeline in view
The demonstration project includes an electrolysis to be built in a Scottish port, in which hydrogen will be produced from wind power. “Some of it could then have been used on site, for example at whiskey distilleries,” explains Tress. What is left can be initially exported by ship to Germany. She estimates the production cost for hydrogen to be around six euros per kilogram if the electrolyzer is used well. Then there are transportation costs. One way for this, according to Trease, is the conversion of hydrogen into synthetic gases. However, this move also makes hydrogen more expensive. “This increases the cost of hydrogen supply by 50-150 percent, depending on transportation technology and distance,” explains KPMG experts. In the long term, however, transport via pipelines should be a goal, especially in large volumes, stresses Trajs. Hydrogen from Scotland will initially be consumed in northern Germany. “Further transport to the south, for example via inland waterways, may take place in the second phase.”
The project is still a concept. More details should be available for the climate conference in Glasgow in late 2021. Partners are currently exploring potential ports of transport in Scotland, including Cromarty, Aberdeen and Glasgow. “If the project proceeds optimally, the first green hydrogen from Scotland could arrive in a German port during 2022 as part of a demonstration project,” Treese said. However, more investors are needed to make the project a reality. Contribution from the public sector would be an advantage. The Scottish government plans to boost exports in the summer. The British government’s plan to establish “free trade” ports after Brexit could also help with the project. /kw
You can read the full interview with Sylvia Tress, KPMG, in today’s add-on to New Markets and Technologies.