Shell New Energies NL BV (Shell) and RWE Generation SE (RWE) intend to jointly advance ambitious projects for the production, use and distribution of green hydrogen as well as further options to decarbonise RWE gas and biomass-fired power plants in northwest Europe. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was recently signed by Markus Krebber, CEO of RWE AG, and Wael Sawan, Director of Integrated Gas, Renewables and Energy Solutions at Royal Dutch Shell plc, at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland near Cologne. The aim of the MoU is to identify concrete project options which could then be developed toward investment decisions.
Hydrogen is crucial for the decarbonisation of industry and achieving climate neutrality in large-scale production and processing. Many companies can only achieve their climate goals through the use of hydrogen produced without CO2 emissions. Accordingly, the demand for green and blue hydrogen is increasing, and the two companies want to focus their cooperation on this potential.
RWE and Shell already have a background of positive cooperation through the pioneering projects NortH2 in the Netherlands and AquaVentus in Germany. In a next step, integrated projects for the production of green hydrogen, using offshore wind power on a gigawatt scale, will also be examined in the industrial regions in the north-east of England (such as, Teesside and/or Humberside). RWE and Shell intend to jointly assess the future development of electrolysis plants to produce green hydrogen and consider locations which have potential pipeline capacity for hydrogen yet are currently difficult to connect to the electric grid. RWE and Shell want to investigate whether, and how, green energy can be transported from such locations to customers via hydrogen pipelines.
RWE and Shell also want to develop new green hydrogen solutions for industrial customers, focused on the Shell Energy & Chemicals Park Rheinland in Germany, Shell sites in Rotterdam and Moerdijk in the Netherlands, and on customers in their immediate vicinity.
In addition, RWE and Shell intend to evaluate the possible application of green hydrogen in the mobility sector in Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. A starting point for this could be, for example, the hydrogen station network for heavy trucks which Shell plans to build between Rotterdam, Cologne and Hamburg by 2024.
In the MoU, the two companies also agreed to examine technical alternatives for the decarbonisation of RWE’s gas and biomass power plants, such as the possibility of capturing and storing CO2. The companies will also examine the use of blue hydrogen in RWE’s gas-fired power plants in Pembroke (Wales), Emsland (Germany) and Moerdijk (the Netherlands), among others. If progressed, Shell would produce and supply the hydrogen as well as capture and store the CO2. The results of the trial could be transferred later to other RWE sites, in parallel with the developing transport infrastructure for hydrogen and CO2.
“We are delighted about this agreement with RWE. Both companies are of the opinion that progress towards net-zero emissions needs government policy to support the energy transition and our customers’ needs for low-carbon energy solutions,” said Wael Sawan, Director of Integrated Gas, Renewables and Energy Solutions at Royal Dutch Shell plc. “It makes sense for us to evaluate the potential of joint decarbonisation projects and make the best of the global energy experience both companies bring to the table.”
“Effective climate action needs cross-sector and cross-national cooperation. In our cooperation with Shell, we want to develop solutions that combine new approaches with proven technologies and, above all, can be applied quickly and on a large scale. We will also contribute our special expertise in the development of offshore wind projects as well as the provision of energy in the form of electricity, heat and, in the future, green hydrogen for our customers,” emphasised Markus Krebber, CEO of RWE.