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Hydrogen as part of an offshore energy system

Many SINTEF researchers are investigating hydrogen’s role both as an energy carrier and as an important part of our future low-emissions society. The possibility of manufacturing hydrogen from natural gas by using carbon capture and storage (CCS) is particularly relevant for the development of offshore energy systems.

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Hydrogen has many potential uses

Hydrogen can be used as fuel for cars, heavy transport such as lorries, and marine transport, including passenger and cargo ships. Norway is a world leader in marine transport and technological solutions in the maritime sector, and there is considerable export potential for new hydrogen- and ammonia-based technologies in this field. In addition, hydrogen plays an important role in the decarbonisation of many process industries. Therefore, there is likely to be a significant demand for hydrogen and hydrogen-related technologies from export markets, particularly the EU.

Environmentally friendly production results in zero CO2 emissions

Hydrogen does not produce harmful CO2 emissions when it is used in a fuel cell or a turbine. Therefore, when we assess how environmentally friendly hydrogen is, we must examine how it is produced.

Hydrogen can be manufactured from fossil fuels, biomasses or water. Electrolysis of water, which is the process of using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, is something that has been done in Norway for many decades.

Today, 95 per cent of all hydrogen is manufactured from fossil fuels, particularly natural gas. However, in the near future, Norway will be able to produce so-called “blue hydrogen” and ammonia from fossil fuels by capturing and storing CO2 emissions in CCS facilities deep beneath the seabed.

Hydrogen from offshore wind power

In the long term, Norway will achieve a more diversified renewable energy production, including hydro power, solar power, offshore wind power and wave power. This will all contribute to a sustainable and stable production of green hydrogen and green ammonia. Hydrogen production from renewable energy such as excess offshore wind power is a smart, efficient way to capture energy that would otherwise be lost.

What type of hydrogen research is conducted at SINTEF?

Many teams at SINTEF have extensive experience with various special fields within hydrogen research. As a number of technologies and different value chains are relevant for hydrogen research, SINTEF’s interdisciplinary approach and collaboration work with other institutes give us a fantastic advantage.

Here are some examples of our research areas:

  • The use of hydrogen to reduce emissions from the Norwegian continental shelf
  • The end-use of hydrogen in, for example, fuel cells specifically for the transport sector and the offshore industry
  • The use of hydrogen in power production for offshore platforms, and the use of hydrogen and ammonia in large combustion engines
  • The possibility of using natural gas pipes to transport pure hydrogen gas
  • The role that hydrogen can play as an integrated part of the energy system, particularly through the study of how it interacts with other energy carriers, such as electricity and heat

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