Nantes, at the heart of the global hydrogen race

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Green hydrogen will be produced at sea. A world first which could eventually allow massive production of renewable hydrogen.

Nantes , at the heart of the global race for hydrogen

This may be a major turning point in the production of renewable hydrogen. The company Lhyfe launched its pilot platform last week. It will first be tested for six months in the port of Saint-Nazaire. Then, it will be installed off the French coast and connected for twelve months to a wind turbine.

How to produce green hydrogen at sea?

Quoted by our colleagues from < em>Paris-Normandie, Matthieu Guesné explains this large-scale project in more detail: “ This offshore production platform is a world first, the objective being to eventually scale up the production of renewable hydrogen with offshore.

He adds: “Today, renewable hydrogen has a lot of people talking about it, but very few doing it. We want to lead the way ”. This initiative is of major importance for the energy sector and industry in general by enabling them to reduce their environmental impact.

Concretely, this new system houses a container equipped with an electrolyser produced by the company Plug Power. The latter breaks the water molecule to produce hydrogen. It is the current produced by the wind turbine that allows this mechanism to work.

The big questions remain, why should offshore wind turbines be used, could this system not work on land? The hydrogen produced will be transported via a conventional gas pipeline, we explain at Lhyfe. The latter is less expensive than a conventional electrical connection. Similarly, hydrogen can be stored more easily than using electric current. Finally, offshore wind turbines are much more powerful than land-based ones.

Danish and German competitors already on the job

Ultimately, Lhyfe hopes to produce 400 kg/day, or 1 megawatt . This figure is equivalent to filling up a hundred cars. But by 2030, the tricolor nugget created in 2017 is thinking even bigger and wants to produce 3 gigawatts.

As if to bring this future project up to date, Matthieu Guesné affirms for his part that the potential of this technology is immense: “The world's offshore wind energy resources represent 18 times the world's electricity consumption. . With 4% of European maritime space, you can produce enough hydrogen to replace all Russian gas »

And according to Usine Nouvelle , our German and Danish partners are already on the job. Green hydrogen production areas at sea are indeed planned in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. On the Danish side, the kick-off will be given before the end of the year, while the Germans have launched their first call for tenders.

Finally, let's remember that the first French offshore wind turbine was recently installed in wide of Saint-Nazaire. The project provides for the installation of 80 masts in all this year. Enough to supply the equivalent of 700,000 inhabitants with electricity, according to EDF forecasts. Soon, six other parks should be launched in France.

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