‘An integral part of the future of offshore wind’: WFO launches high-power hydrogen office

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Industry body, the World Offshore Wind Forum (WFO), has launched a new committee focused on the co-development of offshore wind power and hydrogen production, involving DNV H2 and carbon capture and storage (CCS) leads Magnus Killingland at its helm.

The new office will focus on optimizing the offshore wind Power-to-X value chain; financing, business case and regulation; and safety and risk, WFO said, with Killingland = giving advice “on advice and verification for risk reduction investment decisions and the development of technologies and value chains” for the production of hydrogen, including ammonia and e-fuels, and large-scale CCS.

“WFO and its members believe that the production of hydrogen from offshore wind turbines creates exciting new opportunities for the global industry,” said Gunnar Herzig, chief executive of WFO. “We view green hydrogen production as an integral part of the future of the offshore wind industry.”

Much of the economic appeal of hydrogen offshore wind is that the more hours per year an electrolyzer operates, the cheaper the hydrogen produced. Thus, renewable energy projects with high capacity factors that channel all their production to electrolyzers are the best option for profitable green hydrogen.

Bottom-fixed offshore wind is around 50% – far more than onshore – and floating wind, with an average capacity factor of 65%, is even better, meaning it should be even more economical long-term.

In addition, to replace the 70 million tons of existing gray H2 generated each year – mainly used for oil refining, fertilizer production and as a chemical feedstock – with green would require nearly 900 GW of dedicated offshore wind projects, most of which would be far offshore, over 200 km connections to the coastal network.

It’s a problem hydrogen could solve in part by removing the cost and complexity of a giant export mainline from a deep-sea wind project, with H2 production stored on so-called energy islands to be transported to the market or to supply future container ships and green tankers.

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