Finland must take a model from the Rotterdam region and support various ways of producing hydrogen.
Low carbon, the lack of climate – friendly hydrogen production in our country was one of the reasons why Neste decided to locate its new giant refinery in the Netherlands instead of Finland. Finland must increase its own production of low-carbon hydrogen – and this requires that Finland also produces hydrogen other than by wind and solar power.
The best known way to produce hydrogen with low carbon is to do it by electrolysis, that is, by breaking down water into hydrogen and oxygen with the help of electricity. The goal is that in the future, hydrogen will be produced with low-cost solar and wind power. However, there is still an embarrassingly long way to go.
There will not be enough wind and solar power available for a long time. Last year, fossil fuels produced 37% of the EU’s electricity, and these must be completely eliminated from renewable energy sources. In addition to electricity generation, a lot of energy is needed for heating, among other things. In the next few years, power consumption will continue to rise sharply as traffic electrifies. Hydrogen production will therefore be in short supply for a long time to come. During the transition period, we must therefore be able to make pure hydrogen in other ways as well.
In Rotterdam there is a huge project underway to produce low carbon hydrogen. In order to get enough hydrogen, hydrogen is produced there by various methods. In addition to converting hydrogen from water by wind power, low-carbon hydrogen will be produced in Rotterdam, for example from natural gas, in the old, carbon-producing ways, so that the resulting greenhouse gas is pumped underwater to former gas sources.
There are other methods of producing low carbon hydrogen. Natural gas and biogas mainly contain methane, which can be decomposed into hydrogen and carbon in its elements by means of temperature and catalysts. Carbon is then recovered as a solid so that it can be used by industry as an important raw material.
In addition to wind and solar electricity, electrolytic hydrogen can also be produced with, for example, nuclear electricity.
Finland should take the model of the Rotterdam region and support different ways of producing hydrogen. It is the same as how hydrogen is produced, as long as it does not cause greenhouse gas emissions.
Openness to different technologies is important in order to produce hydrogen not only sufficiently but also cheaply enough.
Finnish industry is currently planning several projects using hydrogen. For the time being, however, the price of hydrogen produced by wind and solar power is too expensive to carry out many important projects.
EU Hydrogen Alliance Member of the ECH2A Energy Group, Member of the Steering Group of the Finnish Hydrogen Cluster, CEO, Aurelia Turbines oy
EU Hydrogen Alliance Member of the ECH2A Hydrogen Production Group, CEO, Hycamite oy
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