Shell unveils plans for mega offshore wind-hydrogen project in the Netherlands

Royal Dutch Shell has announced it will work with Dutch gas infrastructure group Gasunie to deliver Europe’s biggest green hydrogen project in the Netherlands, powered by up to 10GW of offshore wind in the North Sea.

The partners signed off on the NortH2 project in conjunction with Groningen Seaports, and hope to produce first hydrogen by 2027, when the project will be powered by an initial 3-4GW of offshore turbines.

The offshore wind fleet could grow as large as 10GW by 2040, according to a statement announcing the project, with a production of 800,000 tonnes of green hydrogen annually.

Green hydrogen and offshore wind power are rapidly emerging as twinned solutions in attempts to decarbonise major industries such as heating and transport.

A study published last year by consultancy Navigant (commissioned by European gas grid consortium Gas for Climate) found that the most cost optimal role of decarbonising the gas sector is by combining electricity with hydrogen and biomethane.

Marjan van Loon, president of Shell Nederland, said: “Together, we are launching an ambition that puts the Netherlands at the forefront of hydrogen globally. In addition, it contributes to achieving the objectives of the Dutch Climate Agreement and accelerates the energy transition.”

Gasunie’s infrastructure will be used to transport green hydrogen to industrial customers in the Netherlands and Northwest Europe, while the province of Groningen will become the European ‘centre of green hydrogen production’ and Europe’s first ‘Hydrogen Valley’.