German energy companies RWE and innogy are jointly looking into large-scale production of green hydrogen and are starting a feasibility study to build a 100 megawatt (MW) plant at RWEs Eemshaven power station in the Netherlands, innogy says in a press release. This is close to innogys Westereems Wind Farm, which will supply green electricity. We are convinced that green hydrogen will be an important component of a secured and clean energy supply for [transport, heating and industry], said Roger Miesen, CEO of RWE Generation SE.
Shaken to the core by the countrys energy transition, utilities like RWE and innogy are scrambling for new business models. While digital technologies disrupt the power market, the incumbents hope the pending electrification of transport and heating will offer new growth opportunities in the Energiewendes next phase. Using renewable electricity to produce hydrogen and CO-neutral methane could solve some of the Energiewendes toughest challenges. Making gas with wind and solar power could also provide carbon-neutral fuel for heating and transport and pave the way for large-scale seasonal energy storage. But a lot of energy is lost during the conversion, making the technology comparatively expensive. The German federal government is working on a strategy for hydrogen and synthetic fuels.
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