Great potential for hydrogen production in Southern Norway

What is needed to enable hydrogen trade between countries and more use of hydrogen in various economic sectors? In this interview series, we talk to experts about how the market is developing and the hurdles that need to be overcome to speed up the transition. Torstein Melhus is Senior Adviser responsible for business development within hydrogen at Agder Energi and a member of the German-Norwegian Working Group on Hydrogen.

Agder Energi is one of Norway’s largest electricity producers. With its 49 wholly-owned and part-owned hydroelectric power stations in the counties of Agder and south-west Telemark, Agder Energi meets five percent of Norway’s total energy requirements.

What kind of potential do you see for hydrogen production in Southern Norway?

Southern Norway is located close to Germany, has good harbors, and available hydropower that may enable rapid deployment of a large-scale facility for producing green hydrogen and ammonia.

How can Norway play a role in the German hydrogen strategy?

Norway has available hydropower +8.000hrs per year at favorable prices, which allows for continuous production and maximized output in tons per year per installed MW capacity.

Hydrogen will be transformed to ammonia for transport to Germany on ammonia tankers, and then cracked to hydrogen in harbors or by the end customer. Because of the available hydropower in Norway, we believe this represents an opportunity for Germany to rapidly establish large-scale supplies of green hydrogen from Norway within few years.

Which hurdles must be overcome?

Even though Germany has high ambitions for the import of green hydrogen, import facilities and infrastructure to get hydrogen from ship to shore to the customer are still missing.

There will be global imports to German harbors, and it is important that focus is put on incoming logistics to secure the ability to receive, crack and distribute green hydrogen into Germany. Cracking facilities in Germany will consume local electricity, this needs to be renewable and available.

Solutions for the transport of liquid hydrogen on ships are currently not in place and priority should be given to establishing this as an option. For us, as one of the countries facing the North Sea, we expect hydrogen pipelines connecting countries and energy islands at sea to be established. It is important that transport of both blue and green hydrogen is considered, and how these will interact.

German-Norwegian Energy Dialogue 2021

Torstein Melhus has 20 years of industry experience from amongst other ABB, Nera Satcom, Kitron, and Agder Energi Varme. He will talk more about hydrogen production and value chain development with a bilateral perspective on May 20 as part of the German-Norwegian Energy Dialogue Webinar Series 2021.

The Working Group on Hydrogen works to unlock the potential for bilateral cooperation between Germany and Norway on hydrogen.

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