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Siemens Gamesa is embarking on the path of decarbonising transport and heavy industry by installing the world?s first system capable of producing green hydrogen directly with a wind turbine, with no connection to the grid 

Brande Hydrogen pilot project 1The Brande Hydrogen Project has no link to an electricity grid. (Image Credit: Siemens Gamesa)

Hydrogen is already used to power industry today, and currently accounts for 1.7% of global annual energy consumption. Just 1% of that hydrogen is generated from green energy sources; the bulk is obtained from natural gas and coal, emitting 830mn tonnes of CO2 per year. Replacing this current polluting consumption would require 820GW of wind generating capacity, 26% more than the current global installed wind capacity. Long-term forecasts from various industry sources point to hydrogen growing exponentially over the coming decades as transport and heavy industry decarbonise, requiring between 1,000GW and 4,000GW of renewable capacity by 2050 to meet demand, which highlights the vast potential for growth in wind power.

?Green hydrogen has the potential to be a game changer in the quest to decarbonise the power supply and solve the climate crisis. Our wind turbines are already making a huge contribution to this effort by providing clean electricity to the grid but, with the storage potential of hydrogen, we can start addressing other key industries. This is an exciting project and I?m proud that the ingenuity and commitment of our people is enabling Siemens Gamesa to take the lead. This is the future,? said Andreas Nauen, Siemens Gamesa CEO.

Brande Hydrogen pilot project:

Siemens Gamesa is developing the first pilot project in the world to connect a wind turbine to an electrolyser with the ability to operate in ?island mode?- driving an electrolysis rig with no link to an electricity grid. With the Brande Hydrogen project, Siemens Gamesa is pioneering a major potential future application for both onshore and offshore wind.

The pilot is now under development close to Siemens Gamesa?s Danish headquarters in Brande, western Denmark. It includes a three megawatt Siemens Gamesa wind turbine owned by local partner Uhre Windpower,that will produce clean electricity to power a 400kW electrolyser. This machine splits water into oxygen and hydrogen, so that the hydrogen can be stored and later delivered to customers in the mobility sector. The project is close to obtaining final permits; the first test runs are planned for December 2020 and hydrogen production should start by January 2021.

Siemens Gamesa recently signed an agreement with Danish company Everfuel, which will distribute the 100% green hydrogen produced by the facility to refuelling stations across Denmark. When fully operational, the project?s single turbine will produce enough hydrogen to fuel around 50-70 taxis each day. Carbon-free hydrogen, derived from low-cost, competitive wind power, can be stored and transported for use on demand. This facility will provide insights that will be crucial to scaling up the technology to much larger turbines and wind farms both on land and at sea.