The potential of Hydrogen
Power-to-X is the term we use for converting renewable energy into hydrogen and other climate-friendly fuels that can replace fossil energy.
Hydrogen and Power-to-X (PtX) have had a major focus in Denmark as well as internationally in recent years. Development is moving at a rapid pace as a result of falling prices on renewable energy, an accelerated need for a green transition and great political attention to energy dependence.
With the broad political PtX agreement of 15 March 2022, the direction is set for the development of green energy in Denmark. The aim of the agreement is to promote the development of green fuels and enable Denmark to become a Northern European powerhouse for the production and export of green power and green fuels, and a leader in the development of PtX technology.
Since the PtX agreement, Energinet has worked to support its ambitions by working for a Danish hydrogen transmission system. During the summer of 2022, Energinet launched a feasibility study of Danish hydrogen infrastructure, and based on this, a maturation project was launched in the summer of 2023.
The initiation of the maturation project is due ? in addition to the positive results from the feasibility study ? to the fact that hydrogen has been registered in the Danish gas legislation and the fact that Energinet has been appointed the role of system responsibility for the Danish hydrogen system and the responsibility for establishing a Danish hydrogen transmission system.
There is an enormous potential for renewable energy in Denmark, onshore as well as offshore. Establishment of offshore wind farms alone has the potential to produce more than twice as much electricity as a fully electrified Danish society will require.
In addition to maximum electrification of Danish energy consumption, the enormous potential makes it possible to convert power from renewable energy sources into hydrogen and RE fuels ? also called Power-to-X.
Denmark?s extensive RE potential can be used for direct electrification, and for indirect electrification via Power-to-X for sectors that cannot operate on electricity.
Power-to-X makes it possible to convert renewable energy from the sun and wind into green hydrogen and other climate-friendly fuels. This is done using electrolysis ? a process whereby water is split into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity. The hydrogen can be used directly or be converted into hydrogen-based products such as ammonia, methanol, methane and diesel products, replacing fossil fuels in sectors that cannot use the green electricity directly.
With the large resources of renewable energy, Denmark can play a key role in the development of the green fuels of the future ? in Denmark and Europe ? and it is important to already start considering how the energy infrastructure should be developed to support new Power-to-X supply chains.
THERE ARE THREE GENERAL APPLICATIONS FOR GREEN HYDROGEN:
- Direct use, e.g. as fuel for local transport, process industry, steel and chemical production.?
- Green fuel in the form of ammonia for large energy consumption, e.g. transports at sea.?
- Green fuels in sectors where carbon-based fuels are particularly suitable, e.g. aviation fuel, chemical production and industry.
The coupling between electricity production and the heating, transport and hydrogen sectors can enable us to handle the very large fluctuations in the production and consumption of energy. Power-to-X can be seen as a flexible off-take for the electricity system that can collect and transform wind and solar power generated at times when it is plentiful and cheap ? while not using it in periods when it is not as available.
ELECTRIFICATION OF DENMARK
If we succeed in getting PtX plants to interact meaningfully with the rest of the energy system, we can ensure that they not only supply fuels for sea transport, aviation, industry etc., they will also enable Denmark to undertake a comprehensive electrification ? one of the primary forces driving the fulfilment of the Danish climate goals.
Denmark's electricity consumption is expected to be more than doubled by 2040, and a steadily increasing proportion of this will go to Power-to-X.
About Power-to-X and green hydrogen
Power-to-X describes how we can convert renewable energy into hydrogen and other climate-friendly fuels. It happens with the help of electrolysis - a technology in which water is cleaved into hydrogen and oxygen using green electricity.