Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Norwegian energy company Equinor and German power utility RWE announced the launch of hydrogen projects in Germany.
The move will help Germany to lower its consumption of coal and rein in greenhouse gas emissions, according to Reuters reporting on Thursday.
The two companies are to build power plants in Germany that will initially run on natural gas and later switch to hydrogen produced in jointly-constructed facilities in Norway.
The plan depends on construction of a planned hydrogen pipeline from Norway to Germany which Equinor and its partners are currently examining.
While the two companies did not provide details about their investment plans under the partnership, RWE noted that plans would include investments worth several billion euro.
“It is too early to go into detail,” RWE stressed and pointed out “first of all, the infrastructure needs to be built and a suitable political framework needs to be established.”
The partnership with Equinor is part of Germany’s efforts to replace Russian natural gas with alternative sources of energy. Moscow has stopped supplying natural gas to Germany after Western countries imposed sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine.
Last year, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Norway, Germany’s largest supplier of natural gas, seeking more commitments to plug the hole in Germany’s energy mix.
However, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre stressed that the country’s natural gas output was already at maximum.
Equinor and RWE pointed out in a statement that hydrogen would be produced in Norway from natural gas, stressing that more than 95% of associated greenhouse gas emissions would be captured and stored.
They added that, in the long term, they plan to produce hydrogen using renewable sources including offshore wind and solar, which will further cut emissions associated with production.
“There is an urgent need for a rapid ramp up of the hydrogen economy,” RWE stressed in a statement and reiterated that it will move towards green hydrogen in the future.Besides planning gas-fired power plants that will be converted to run on hydrogen, Germany is building liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals that will later be adapted for receiving hydrogen.