Perhaps unsurprisingly, petroleum companies are also getting in on the act. The industry giant Shell Oil recently broke ground on a power-to-gas plant at its refinery in Wesseling, Germany. “Shell is excited by hydrogen and sees huge potential in it,” says Shell’s executive VP for New Energies, Elisabeth Brinton. “That is why we are committed to its development – as a storage vector for renewables and a net-zero energy source for commercial, industrial and transportation customers.”
Partially funded by the EU, the REFHYNE project will be capable of converting renewable electricity into 1,300t of H2 per year. That can be employed in a variety of ways (see box), for instance in the chemical and steel industries, both of which use hundreds of thousands of tons each year.
“Green electrolysis has the potential to decarbonize many industrial processes that use hydrogen,” says Graham Cooley, CEO of the British company ITM Power, which specializes in electrolyzers, and H2 for fuel cells.