Shell joins Europe’s largest hydrogen project

By William Girling
It has been

It has been reported that Shell Nederland has joined a three-way consortium to launch ‘NortH2’, the largest green hydrogen project in Europe.

Together with energy network operator Gasunie and port authority Groningen Seaports, Shell will seek to construct a three to four-gigawatt offshore wind farm in Groningen by 2030, which will create hydrogen as a byproduct of producing renewable energy. 

As distinct from blue hydrogen, which is produced and captured within a fossil-fuel-based energy process, green hydrogen emits no CO2 and is a truly sustainable source of power. 

Despite the already large-scale nature of the project’s proposed output, the consortium has plans to expand it by a further seven or eight-gigawatts (10GW total) by 2040. The capabilities of such a plant would mitigate 7mt of CO2 per year.

The Netherlands: leading the adoption of hydrogen

Following in the wake of the European Green Deal, which sets out an ambitious plan for the continent to become climate-neutral by 2050, the NortH2 project is placing The Netherlands at the forefront of the hydrogen’s development.

Widely recognised as a potentially game-changing fuel which could significantly accelerate the green energy transition, the infrastructure of green hydrogen-based energy still requires widespread industry collaboration before it can be fully adopted.

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Discussing the project’s exciting potential, Marjan van Loon, President-Director of Shell Nederland, said, “This project offers opportunities throughout the entire hydrogen chain.” 

“In addition, it fits well with our New Energies aspirations and our ambitions to find new ways to reduce CO2 emissions and deliver more and cleaner energy, at home, on the go and at work.”

“In order to realise this project, we will need several new partners. Together we will have to pioneer and innovate to bring together all the available knowledge and skills that are required. The energy transition calls for guts, boldness, and action,” she stated.

A shift in the energy sector

The trio hopes that the results of a pending feasibility study will prove positive and that hydrogen can begin being produced by 2027, subject to investment and regulatory deadlines. 

“If we want to realise our climate ambitions, we must have large-scale infrastructure in good time,” said Han Fennema, CEO of Gasunie. “The Netherlands has a leading position in the shift to a hydrogen economy.”

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