Research for Germany’s First Large-Scale Offshore Green Hydrogen Plant

German offshore green hydrogen product feasibility study
Concept for offshore green hydrogen production (Equinor)

Published Jul 23, 2021 5:40 PM by The Maritime Executive

Efforts are continuing to investigate the potential for the first large-scale offshore hydrogen park in Germany’s region of the North Sea. Project partners RWE, Shell, Gasunie, and Equinor announced their intent to further intensify their collaboration on the project known as AquaSector that envisions the first large-scale German offshore hydrogen park. The project aims to demonstrate that offshore-based hydrogen production in Germany can enable an efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable way to produce green hydrogen.

The AquaSector project intends to install approximately 300 megawatt (MW) electrolyzer capacity to produce up to 20,000 tons per year of green hydrogen offshore. The green hydrogen is planned to be transported via a pipeline, called AquaDuctus, to the Heligoland industrial region of Germany starting in 2028.

The partners said that they see the AquaSector project also as a “proof of concept” for the realization of the vision of producing up to 10 gigawatts of green hydrogen offshore by 2035 and transporting it via an extended pipeline to mainland Germany.

Compared to the transport of electricity generated offshore, they believe that the hydrogen production at sea and the transport via pipeline could offer clear economic advantages. According to their calculations, the pipeline could replace five High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission systems, which would otherwise have to be built. It is by far the most cost-effective option for transporting large volumes of energy over long distances.

In announcing their efforts to increase the research, they said that this project can support the development of the market that will bring a rapidly increasing demand for green hydrogen. The first step in the AquaSector project for the partners is to carry out a detailed feasibility study. The study will provide important initial indications of the conditions under which the large-scale offshore hydrogen park can be successfully realized as well as the technical and commercial challenges which need to be overcome in regards to offshore hydrogen production.