One of the main stumbling blocks on the path to greater adoption of hydrogen as a zero-emission fuel source is lack of distribution infrastructure. There is also the matter of the energy used to produce hydrogen, which should ideally be renewable. With these issues in mind, Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland, and the Port of Rotterdam have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to perform a pre-feasibility study of exporting green hydrogen from Iceland to Rotterdam.
The Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port and a major energy hub, says it has developed an ambitious hydrogen masterplan, with which it aims to become the major import hub for hydrogen supply to the continent. As part of this plan, the port has been invited by the Dutch government to identify future sources of green hydrogen for Europe.
Allard Castelein, CEO Port of Rotterdam Authority, commented, “Northwest Europe will need to import large volumes of green hydrogen to become CO2 -neutral. Rotterdam is currently Europe’s main energy hub. We expect hydrogen to take on the position oil has today, as an energy carrier as well as feedstock for the industry. We are therefore exploring the possibilities to import hydrogen from countries that have the potential to produce large volumes of hydrogen at a competitive price, like Iceland.”
Recently, Landsvirkjun announced a feasibility-study into developing a hydrogen production facility at the Ljósifoss Hydropower Station, about 70km outside of Reykjavík. The production will be carbon-free, through the electrolysis of water with renewable power. Most of the world’s hydrogen supply currently produced from natural gas with its respective carbon footprint.
Hordur Arnarson, CEO of Landsvirkjun, explained. “Hydrogen is without a doubt one of the energy carriers of the future, and a very exciting option as a means to combat climate change. Using hydrogen as a carrier, we can export our Icelandic green renewable energy to the European mainland, thereby increasing our contribution to the joint efforts necessary to facilitate a world-wide energy transition. The European market for green hydrogen will no doubt grow considerably in the coming years, and this MOU will enable us to monitor and take part in that development right from the get-go.”