The Port of Rotterdam has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Landsvirkjun, the national power company of Iceland, to perform a pre-feasibility study of exporting green hydrogen from Iceland to Rotterdam.
The parties have also agreed to the exchange of knowledge with the aim of exploring new opportunities of cooperation related to hydrogen.
As Europe’s largest port and energy hub, the Port of Rotterdam has developed an ambitious hydrogen masterplan with which it aims to become the major import hub for hydrogen to supply Europe’s changing energy consumers.
Allard Castelein, CEO of Port of Rotterdam Authority, said: “Northwest Europe will need to import large volumes of hydrogen to become CO2 neutral. 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 green hydrogen at a competitive price, like Iceland.”
Landsvirkjun has announced a feasibility study of developing a hydrogen production facility at Ljósifoss Hydropower Station, which sits about 70 km outside of Reykjavik.
The production will be carbon-free through the currently too uncommon method of electrolysis of water with renewable power, with most of the world’s hydrogen supply produced from natural gas with its respective carbon footprint.
Hordur Arnarson, CEO of Landsvirkjun, said: “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 out contribution to the joint efforts necessary to facilitate a world-wide energy transition.”
In 2015, participating states at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris agreed to pursue efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels.
A major world-wide energy transition is necessary in order to achieve this, replacing fossil fuels with renewable carbon-free energy sources, and hydrogen is a major component in the EU’s plan.
Aranarson added: “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.”
As long as the electricity used to power it is renewable, hydrogen is a carbon-free energy carrier and, in addition to being a suitable transport fuel, it can be used for electricity production and heating.
It is also a vital component in a number of industrial processes which, coupled with a reduction in production costs, has garnered interest for hydrogen globally.