The partnership aims to replace coal and gas-fired power plants in Germany with 3 GW of hydrogen-ready combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) capacity, by 2030. The plants would be powered by newly built green and blue hydrogen facilities, which are contingent on the construction of a hydrogen pipeline between Norway and Germany and the development of German downstream infrastructure for hydrogen. The MoU covers four main areas of collaboration:
– Purchase of blue hydrogen by RWE from Equinor’s early-stage projects in Norway (Equinor aims to build 2 GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity in Norway by 2030, increasing to 10 GW by 2038)
– Gigawatt-scale offshore wind projects offshore Norway and Germany, along with electrolyzers for green hydrogen production in Norway
– Export of hydrogen by pipeline from Norway to Germany
– Development of hydrogen-ready CCGT plants in Germany, which will be ramped up to 100% hydrogen combustion capability by 2030. The plants will initially run on blue hydrogen (purchased by RWE from Equinor) and then transition to green hydrogen (as the offshore wind farms linked to the electrolyzers as brought online)
The partnership was announced concurrently to a joint statement by the Norwegian and German governments, which outlined feasibility studies for a cross-country hydrogen pipeline by Norwegian gas grid operator Gassco and the German Energy Agency. The initiative is part of a broader collaboration between the two countries on other climate-related matters, which includes renewable energy, CCS, and battery energy storage systems.
The JV marks the second major offshore wind/hydrogen focussed cooperation between Equinor and RWE - the companies are also a part of the AquaSector initiative, which aims to establish 10 GW of offshore wind power in the German North Sea by 2035, to enable the production of 1 million tonnes of green hydrogen.
The above analysis is proprietary to Enerdatics’ energy analytics team, based on the current understanding of the available data. The information is subject to change and should not be taken to constitute professional advice or a recommendation.