Benefits of green hydrogen
Green hydrogen (H2) is a versatile energy carrier that can be applied to decarbonize a wide range of sectors. It can be used directly or in the form of its derivatives like e-methanol, e-ammonia, or e-fuels to replace fossil fuels, coal or gas.
Only around 40% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions originate from power generation which can be decarbonized via electrification. The other 60% of CO2 emissions originate from industry, mobility, buildings and others. These can be decarbonized via sector coupling, using green hydrogen and its derivatives to make renewable energy available to those sectors. This is why the production of sustainable hydrogen is such a crucial issue.
EFCF 2023: Low-Temperature Fuel Cells, Electrolysers & H2 Processing Forum
Siemens Energy participated in this year's European Fuel Cell Forum (EFCF), which took place in Lucerne, Switzerland, in early July 2023. Carlo Locci presented his poster A1519: "Scaling up electrolysis production: challenges and perspectives". If you want to learn more about it, please follow the link to the recorded presentation.
Our electrolyzer portfolio: The optimum solution for large-scale sustainable hydrogen production
Generating green hydrogen efficiently from water and renewable energy requires high-end technology and innovative solutions — like the Silyzer product family from Siemens Energy. Using Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolysis, the Silyzer is ideally suited for harnessing volatile energy generated from wind and solar. Combining high efficiency and high power density, our PEM electrolyzers ensure gas products of superior quality. It is easy to operate and requires low maintenance. Using a modular design strategy that splits the electrolysis system into skids, we are able to optimize costs, reduce installation costs, and make the electrolysis system transportable.
Scaling up the capacity of green hydrogen production
Carbon emission targets in the European Union and other industrialized countries will require massive scaling-up and acceleration of renewable hydrogen production and imports – already 20 million tons will be needed in Europe by 2030 to fast forward the energy transition and decarbonization.
That’s why we have joined forces with Air Liquide to create a joint venture dedicated to the series production of industrial-scale renewable hydrogen electrolyzers. In 2023, production of electrolysis stacks will begin at our multi-gigawatt electrolyzer facility in Berlin and ramp up to an annual production capacity of three gigawatts by 2025.
Your service partner for green hydrogen production and beyond
Siemens Energy can offer comprehensive services for your electrolyzer plant and energy assets along the entire hydrogen value chain. Our service agreements range from basic maintenance to premium service with state-of-the-art data analysis and can be customized to your needs.
Our combined package of maintenance, support and digital services can ensure reliable and economical operation. You can reduce your risks with our performance guarantees or enjoy total peace of mind with our Operations and Maintenance service program. Together, we will push your clean hydrogen production to the next level.
How does PEM Water Electrolysis work?
To limit climate change caused by the global increase in CO2 emissions, we need solutions for generating carbon-neutral and sustainable fuels. The generation of green hydrogen is achieved by electrolysis using renewable energy rather than producing it from natural gas, which results in large amounts of CO2 emissions.
For our hydrogen electrolyzer system, we focus on PEM technology taking its name from the proton exchange membrane. The membrane’s special property is that it is permeable to protons but not to gases such as hydrogen or oxygen. As a result, in an electrolytic process the membrane takes on, among other things, the function of a separator that prevents the product gases from mixing.
Your partner for sustainable hydrogen productionWith our extensive knowledge of industrial, mobility, and energy sectors, we’re able to provide dependable solutions for our customers in every aspect of green hydrogen production.
You will benefit from Siemens Energy’s decades of experience, global footprint, infrastructure, strong partnerships and manpower available, covering the full energy value chain from renewable power via transmission to hydrogen and Power-to-X production. Moreover, we can help you certify the source of green energy with Clean Energy Certificates.
Are you ready for the green hydrogen economy? We are and we look forward to being your partner for sustainable hydrogen generation.
FAQ – The most common questions on hydrogen
It is not inherently more dangerous than other fuel sources. Hydrogen is flammable and must be handled with care, just like other flammable fuels. To ignite, the hydrogen must be combined with an additional oxidizing agent (air, pure oxygen, chlorine, etc.) in a specific concentration and an ignition source (a spark). If, in a worst-case scenario, the hydrogen ignites, it burns upwards very quickly. It creates no dangerous heat radiation above the accident site, as petrol or kerosene do.
The facilities are designed to be permanently leak proof. Flange connections are designed especially for hydrogen and the number of detachable connections are minimized. Furthermore, in buildings a steady air exchange is ensured and the facilities are equipped with safety valves and pressure reliefs. Additionally explosion prevention zones are designated. In these zones, electrical and other equipment needs to be in accordance with 2014/34/EU (ATEX Directive).
Electrolysis processes can be categorized as follows: alkaline electrolysis with liquid alkaline electrolytes, acidic electrolysis with a solid polymer electrolyte (as PEM) and high temperature electrolysis with a solid oxide as electrolyte.
PEM electrolysis and alkaline electrolysis systems are available at an industrial scale. The solid oxide electrolysis technology is in an early development phase.
Hydrogen enables the long-term storage of large quantities of surplus renewable energy. It is allows new ways to use green electricity, i.e. by using hydrogen as substitute for natural gas by feeding it into existing pipelines, as fuel for fuel-cell vehicles or power plants, or as feedstock for the hydrogen processing industry. It opens the possibility to connect energy generation with the industry and mobility sectors, the so called “sector coupling”.
‘Green’ hydrogen is sourced by 100% renewable energy. That means that the needed energy to produce hydrogen by electrolysis has emitted zero emissions. Hydrogen produced from fossil fuels releasing emissions such as CO2, may be referred to as ‘grey’ or ‘brown’ hydrogen. If the emitted carbon dioxide is captured, stored (carbon capture storage) and re-used, it is often called ‘blue’ hydrogen.