European group has big solar hydrogen plan for hard-to-decarbonise industries

EMEC hydrogen storage cylinders (Credit Colin Keldie)

October 11 (Renewables Now) - Four European clean energy companies have come out with a plan to build a 2-GW photovoltaics (PV) factory to produce high-efficiency modules for solar parks that will power renewable hydrogen production for hard-to-decarbonise industries.

Wind will also have a role, says a press release on Thursday.

The Silver Frog proposal was presented at the Hydrogen for Climate Conference in Brussels by Belgium-based firm Hydrogenics Europe, Swiss solar industry supplier Meyer Burger Technology AG (SWX:MBTN), Hungarian solar technology firm Ecosolifer, and renewables developer European Energy of Denmark. They will compete for support under the European Union’s Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) framework.

The partners want to build a PV factory with an annual capacity of 2 GW that would provide over 10 GW of installed PV capacity. The solar power generation, together with some wind power, will go for the production of 100% renewable hydrogen to be transported by gas pipelines to industries, such as steel and chemicals.

The project will use Hydrogenics’ water electrolysis technology, while Meyer Burger will supply the solar PV manufacturing line. Ecosolifer, in turn, will produce the PV modules, with a focus on heterojunction technology (HJT), while Denmark’s European Energy will be the energy developer. 

"The crucial element of our project is to develop a new European manufacturing capacity for solar PV cells and modules. The new technology has been developed in Europe and has the potential to establish sustainable and globally-competitive solar cell and module production thanks to its very high efficiency," said Thomas Hengst, Global Sales head at Meyer Burger.

The project is estimated to support the production of 800,000 tonnes of green hydrogen over an eight-year period, offsetting eight million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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