Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy capitalize on hydrogen boom in wind alliance By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A model wind turbine with the Siemens Gamesa logo is on display outside the annual general meeting of shareholders in Zamudio

By Christoph Steitz, Tom Käckenhoff and Vera Eckert FRANKFURT / DUESSELDORF (Reuters) – Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy are developing a commercial offshore wind turbine that produces hydrogen through electrolysis, the companies said, marking a breakthrough for mass production of renewable hydrogen. Companies are investing 120 million euros ($ 146 million) in the system, which had not been previously reported. It is the most concrete plan in the renewable industry yet to capitalize on the expected boom in hydrogen demand. In the European Union, renewable hydrogen, which can replace fossil fuels in sectors struggling to decarbonise, is seen as a way to meet emission reduction targets. Hoping to get ahead of major rivals Vestas and General Electric (NYSE :), Siemens Energy and Siemens Gamesa are targeting large industrial players, including steel mills, refineries and chemical companies, as customers since the mid-2020s. “It really is. it’s about developing a commercially viable product, “said Christian Bruch, CEO of Siemens Energy, which owns 67% of Siemens Gamesa, the world’s largest offshore wind turbine manufacturer. “I know of no other company that combines wind power, electrolysis and offshore high voltage technology all in one company.” Siemens Energy spun off from parent Siemens last year. About one sixth of the electricity generated worldwide is based on the group’s technology. “We have to completely recondition the turbine, which has been designed for electricity production,” said Siemens Gamesa CEO Andreas Nauen. The joint effort aims to integrate electrolyzer technology, which is needed to produce hydrogen, into marine turbines. “We are considering our 14 megawatt turbine, which will be our basic product in the mid-2020s,” Nauen said. (For an interactive version of this graphic, click https://graphics.reuters.com/HYDROGEN-EUROPE/nmovaomnqva) Green hydrogen is created by dividing water into its two components using electricity from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, as opposed to cheaper gray hydrogen, which is produced through fossil fuels. Although most projects across the continent are in the pilot phase, the EU estimates that investments in green hydrogen in Europe could reach € 470 billion by 2050 and create up to 1 million jobs. “The lovely thing about our cooperation is that it’s about developing a product,” said Bruch of Siemens Energy. The plans of Siemens Energy and Siemens Gamesa have the backing of the German government, which has allocated 9,000 million euros to launch a national hydrogen industry, with the aim of becoming a world leader in the field. Germany, which borders the North and Baltic Seas, would be a good location for a first commercial project, said Nauen of Siemens Gamesa. This could be 100-200 megawatts in size, he said, adding that potential customers should be located closer to the source, as transporting hydrogen generated by offshore wind turbines will require pipelines, rather than electrical cables. “Potential buyers include industries in coastal areas, such as chemical and steel companies,” Nauen said. Industrial companies, including Thyssenkrupp (DE 🙂 and Salzgitter, are looking to hydrogen technology to help them significantly reduce their carbon footprint. But Siemens Energy’s Bruch said offshore wind turbines capable of producing hydrogen are just one of many ways to achieve net zero emissions. “Hydrogen is a key issue, but there is no silver bullet here,” he said. ($ 1 = 0.8222 euros)