Key discussions and outcomes from the first hydrogenworkshop in Risavika

40 stakeholders gathered to learn more about hydrogen and to discuss how the new center will be used

Karianne Skjæveland
Communication Manager
June 14, 2023

On June 6th, Energy Transition Norway, NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, Lyse, and SEID AS brought together 40 stakeholders involved in hydrogen production, distribution, and sales in Risavika, Stavanger. The aim was to explore the advantages and disadvantages of various production methods, safety considerations in handling and storage, industry practices, challenges, and opportunities for innovation and collaboration.

Equally important, participants discussed how the Risavika Hydrogen Hub should be utilized for testing and developing new hydrogen value chains.

Egil Aanestad, CEO of Energy Transition Norway, emphasized the importance of active audience participation in the dialogue regarding the center's utilization. The conclusions from today's discussions and the upcoming round two on August 23rd will be presented at the H2 Conference Norway, the first international hydrogen conference in Norway happening in Stavanger on September 7th.

– As an energy transition cluster, our primary objective is to facilitate workshops like this one, with the purpose of generating and facilitating innovative industrial projects such as the Risavika Hydrogen Hub. In December last year, this project was presented to the cluster's technical committee consisting of eight operators for funding and classification as a cluster project. We actively seek national and international funding and will apply for upcoming calls, and we continue to seek additional partners for the center's development, said Aanestad.

Everybody talks about hydrogen

Hydrogen garnered significant attention in 2008 but subsequently experienced a decline. The current resurgence may be attributed to more renewable energy sources available for green hydrogen production.

The smallest atom in the world offers a means of energy utilization without CO2 emissions and can be stored and transported over long distances. It can help balance the power grid by utilizing renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, replacing fossil fuels in various applications. Hydrogen becomes particularly relevant where access to sufficient renewable electricity is limited.

Hans Kleivdal, Vice President of Climate and Environment at NORCE, opened the workshop by emphasizing the countdown to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. To meet this goal, new solutions are required. Kleivdal expressed his hope that the Risavika Hydrogen Hub would contribute to this effort. The center will be open for collaboration on a laboratory and pilot scale during the summer of 2023, while NORCE is currently examining the existing infrastructure's regulatory requirements for production and testing.

Terje Hauan, CTO of Seid, highlighted the significance of hydrogen as a clean energy source and emphasized the need to establish a shared concept for hydrogen in the region. Hauan noted that the energy capital was absent from the national hydrogen gathering held in Oslo the previous week. The objective of the Risavika workshop was to bring stakeholders together and explore how they could collectively make the region an attractive and relevant hub for hydrogen.

Why Risavika is the ideal location for a test hub

Risavika is an ideal location for a hydrogen hub due to the existing natural gas pipeline from Kårstø, infrastructure for natural and biogas, adequate power supply, and research and development facilities for testing and scaling hydrogen and CO2 value chains. The hydrogen hub will enable new business models in the region.

According to Sintef, hydrogen can contribute to achieving Norway's climate goals and play a key role in creating green industrial growth and transforming the country's process industries. One of the challenges faced by Norwegian companies producing hydrogen today is the need to send their hydrogen abroad for testing, a costly affair.

That’s why the partners behind Risavika Hydrogen Hub will make the infrastructure accessible locally in Stavanger for all those wishing to test their technology, including early-stage entrepreneurs with limited financing. Terje Hauan from Seid mentioned the example of hydrogen tanks costing 400 million NOK to purchase.

While it still remains unclear who it is that will utilize hydrogen locally, there is already significant interest from international companies.

For instance, Germany plans to import 75% of the hydrogen needed for its transition away from fossil fuel production.

Increased international interest

Kjell Husabø, Co-founder and CCO of Agri-e, explained their decentralized energy system that produces hydrogen using the Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) process. Although SMR produces CO2 as a byproduct, Agri-e aims to capture and utilize CO2, thereby creating additional business opportunities. By integrating membrane technology into their industrial plant, Agri-e has attracted interest from major companies like Saudi Aramco, who are exploring the potential of implementing the technology at the world’s largest refinery.

Seid is another player in the hydrogen sector who will move out to Risavika by the end of the summer. They are developing a unique method called Methane Pyrolysis, which combines aspects of SMR and electrolysis, in an innovative way resulting in solid carbon as a byproduct that offers opportunities for its use in various industries, locally and internationally.

A deep dive into hydrogen and its properties

Audun Aspelund, Project Director at Lyse, provided an overview of hydrogen and its properties. He discussed various hydrogen production methods, their efficiency, and their applications. Aspelund also highlighted different methods of hydrogen transportation and storage, including pipeline transport, compressed gas storage, and conversion into ammonia. Each method offers distinct advantages and disadvantages, depending on the specific use case.

It became clear that the potential applications of hydrogen are vast and depend on the available resources and infrastructure in the region.

Aasta Vaaland Veen, representing Stavangerregionen Havn, emphasized the importance of facilitating the use of new fuels such as hydrogen from their port to help Stavanger municipality achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2030. With 60,000 annual port calls and its strategic location as the largest hub for combined sea and land transport in western Norway, Risavika plays a pivotal role in the region's transition to a more sustainable future.

Furthermore, Ole Jensen, Business Development Director at Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser, highlighted the importance of low-carbon hydrogen production and the role of electrolysis in achieving this goal. He discussed different types of electrolysis, their advantages, challenges, and ongoing developments in electrolysis technology.

Ying Guo, Senior Business Developer at NORCE, concluded the session by sharing insights into the research and activities conducted at the research center related to hydrogen. NORCE's contributions to hydrogen research are expected to further advance the understanding and utilization of this clean energy source.

Welcome to Hydrogenworkshop#2 on August 23

We’re looking forward to seeing you again at our next workshop on August 23rd, where we will continue the discussion on how Risavika Hydrogen Hub will be utilized to test and develop new value chains for hydrogen and CO2, and who will be part of it.

The conclusion will be presented at the first international hydrogen conference in Norway which will be held in Stavanger on September 7th, followed by a site visit to Risavika on September 8th where eight innovative companies with ambitious ideas for hydrogen production will pitch their concepts in 10-15 minute sessions for an international audience.

Egil Aanestad, CEO of Energy Transition Norway, which serves as the facilitator for the Risavika Hydrogen Hub, encourages interested parties to reach out and join the initiative.

– We are actively seeking additional partners to accelerate the development and utilization of hydrogen as a clean energy source, said Aanestad.

With ongoing efforts, the Risavika Hydrogen Hub and its partners are poised to play a significant role in realizing the potential of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy solution, not only within the Stavanger region but also on a global scale.

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