NortH2 is a consortium made up of Equinor, Gasunie, Groningen Seaports, RWE and Shell Netherlands. We are jointly investigating the feasibility of large-scale production, storage and transmission of green hydrogen. Our ambition is to be able to produce no less than 4 gigawatts of green hydrogen by 2030 so that we can contribute towards achieving the goals set under the Dutch Climate Agreement.
But the ambition goes further than that. NortH2 wants to upscale to more than 10 gigawatts of green hydrogen production capacity by 2040. By then, green hydrogen output, which will initially be produced in Eemshaven and later possibly offshore as well, will total around 1,000,000 metric tons on an annual basis, an amount that can allow us to cut carbon emissions by 8 to 10 megatonnes a year.
We are currently working on a feasibility study. The first results are positive and give us the assurance that we can start working together on shaping a fully developed project in the foreseeable future.
Firstly, NortH2 has set out to build major wind farms in the North Sea, far out at sea. eventually growing the capacity to 10 gigawatts. The first of these wind farms can be up and running by the end of the decade and can be used for green hydrogen production.
On top of that, there are also plans for a large electrolyser plant in Eemshaven, where wind power will be converted into hydrogen. The consortium is furthermore considering the option of building offshore electrolysers in one of the next phases, which it will research over the coming period.
And finally, the whole undertaking will also require a smart storage and transmission network across the Netherlands and north-western Europe to transport the 1,000,000 metric tons of green hydrogen to high-volume consumers. Initially, these consumers will mainly be industry and heavy goods transport, but the green hydrogen may later also be made available to domestic consumers. This is where Gasunie’s existing natural gas infrastructure comes in. Gasunie’s gas grid is currently used primarily to transport natural gas and green gas, but parts of it will be repurposed for the storage and transmission of hydrogen.
With the positive initial results of the feasibility study and the study also confirming that there is a serious demand from industry for large-scale hydrogen production, the plans can be further elaborated. When doing this, we will take into account a wide range of factors, such as the impact on the environment, the evolving policy framework, permitting, the designation of locations for new wind farms in the North Sea, the available locations for the hydrogen plant (or plants), etc.