Energy company Tractebel says it has developed the technology to produce hydrogen (H2) on a large scale from offshore wind energy, using electrolysis.
H2 has recently become a hot topic in construction, with hydrogen fuel cells contesting with electricity and biofuels to become the ‘green’ fuel of choice for the next generation of construction equipment and machinery.
Brussels-based Tractebel says its offshore platform concept could deliver up to 400MW of power – exceeding the output of previous technologies “many times over”.
According to the company, the new platform effectively increases the proportion of hydrogen in the energy mix on a CO2-neutral basis. Tractebel adds that there are many transportation options for hydrogen, potentially allowing it to take pressure off the electricity grid.
The gas is also easy to store, using existing infrastructure, including gas pipelines and storage facilities, underground caverns or even onboard ships.
Tractebel reports that the German federal government is preparing invitations to tender for test fields, specifically for the conversion of electricity into hydrogen, in the North Sea.
Tractebel, which is a subsidiary of French utilities company Engie, says the hydrogen platforms concept is ready to be delivered, suggesting it could undertake such projects as an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) supplier. The company is currently examining the development of demonstration plants in advance of full hydrogen operation, which could commence as early as 2025.