AquaVentus: Green energy from the North Sea
Strong partners for the energy transition
In areas that cannot be electrified or at least not in an economically viable way, hydrogen - in particular green hydrogen - is seen as a beacon of hope for decarbonisation. The AquaVentus initiative has set out to play a leading role in this: with green hydrogen from offshore wind energy. Helgoland, the only German offshore island in the Hamburg metropolitan region, serves as a central hub.
AquaVentus wants to produce hydrogen directly where the necessary wind energy originates, namely offshore. By means of electrolyzers installed at sea, the aim is to create green hydrogen production on an industrial scale. Strong partners have joined forces to make this vision a reality.
All over Northern Germany, various initiatives have been launched to promote the climate-neutral production of green hydrogen and renewable energy. After all, electricity from wind, sun or hydropower is the basis for producing environmentally friendly hydrogen in electrolysers. In this context, AquaVentus wants to send a global signal. The visionary project: The alliance plans to build electrolysers with 10 gigawatts of generating capacity for green hydrogen by 2035 which will be able to use offshore wind energy directly on site. Helgoland, Germany's only high-sea island, will serve as the central hub. From Helgoland, which belongs to the Hamburg metropolitan region, the hydrogen will be transported to land via a central pipeline. This way, 1 million tonnes of green hydrogen could soon be produced per year.
The initiative encompasses numerous sub-projects along the value chain. AquaSector is about the construction of the first industrial-scale offshore hydrogen park in Germany. The project aims to demonstrate that hydrogen production at sea is an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable option for producing green hydrogen. For the time being, AquaSector plans to install around 300 megawatts (MW) of electrolyser capacity to produce up to 20,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year at sea. The first step is to conduct a detailed feasibility study. In a pilot project, the initial plan is to install two innovative offshore wind hydrogen turbines in the coastal sea off Helgoland. The electrolyser will be installed at the foot of the wind turbine while the two 14-megawatt plants will be connected by pipeline. The trial operation serves as a preparation for series production.
With AquaDuctus, the initiative wants to create Germany's first offshore hydrogen pipeline. As soon as the generation plants are fully operational, it will transport the hydrogen as of 2035, thus making a substantial contribution to the decarbonisation of the energy supply. A portion of the hydrogen produced will remain for use on-site and for shipping. AquaPortus, in turn, has set itself the goal of completely decarbonising Helgoland.
The initiative is driven by a strong project family: the AquaVentus funding association consists of highly innovative organisations and research institutions as well as leading international companies. These include RWE, the island of Helgoland itself, Reuther, Vattenfall, Shell, Gasunie, Siemens, Parkwind and MHI Vestas.
The initiative wants to usher in a new age of climate-friendly energy with the production of green hydrogen at sea. With its accumulated expertise and the location of Helgoland in the German Bight, AquaVentus has an optimal regulatory sandbox in the metropolitan region to sustainably support the goals of the German and European hydrogen strategy and to drive the energy transition forward.
As of September 2021