German energy technology company Siemens Energy and French industrial gases supplier Air Liquide are setting up a joint venture that will produce industrial-scale green hydrogen electrolyzers, a project the two companies believe could help make green hydrogen competitive sooner.
The serial production of green hydrogen electrolyzers by the Siemens Energy-Air Liquide joint venture is expected to begin in the second half of 2023, and increase to an annual capacity of 3 GW by 2025. Siemens Energy will hold 74.9% and Air Liquide 25.1% of the company, which will be headquartered in the German capital Berlin.
Renewable hydrogen is still far less competitive than fossil fuels
“To make green hydrogen competitive, we need serially produced, low-cost, scalable electrolyzers,” said Christian Bruch, CEO and President of Siemens Energy. According to a study published last year, clean hydrogen is still far less cost-effective than fossil fuels.
European electrolyzer makers have pledged to boost capacity tenfold by 2025
European electrolyzer manufacturers recently signed a joint declaration committing to a tenfold increase in capacity by 2025 to meet the European Union’s (EU) clean hydrogen goals, while the European Commission vowed to facilitate financing and accelerate the permitting process. This is expected to enable the EU to produce 10 million tons of renewable hydrogen a year by 2030.
Romania’s Hydroelectrica recently invited bids for producing a feasibility study for a 100 MW green hydrogen plant which would use water from the Olt river.
Siemens Energy-Air Liquide electrolysis modules will be suited to harvest volatile renewable energy
The Siemens Energy-Air Liquide factory for electrolysis modules (“stacks”), located in Berlin, will supply both companies for their customers and the rapidly growing market. Based on proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis technology, these stacks will feature a high degree of efficiency and are ideally suited to harvest volatile renewable energy, according to the press release.
One of the first electrolyzer projects is Air Liquide’s Normand’Hy, in the French region of Normandy, with a capacity of 200 MW expected in the first phase. The assembly of the electrolyzer systems for this project is planned to be done in France, according to the press release.