To reach the climate targets for 2050 the transition of the energy- and transport systems have started and are accelerating.
At Sweco we are working with our clients to develop more sustainable solutions within the energy system and mobility. This work is complex and involves a wide array of stakeholders where cooperation between customers and partners is key for success. The technologies needed for the change are many, and we have many experts on these among our 17 000 employees. Here is a text about one of those technologies – Hydrogen!
Hydrogen at Sweco
Hydrogen has been utilized to a large extent by the industry for hundreds of years, but only quite recently attracted interest among a wider public. Due to the high interest, I would like to share some ideas of our work on hydrogen at Sweco. The application areas for hydrogen where I’m involved this year are illustrated below. This is a work I perform in cooperation with Sweco colleagues in many disciplines within Sweden, but also e.g. in Norway, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, UK and Germany.
Our work on hydrogen include production, distribution, storage and end-use, and all phases from the visions, to concept studies, design and implementation. Our work concerns questions on technical, economic and business levels, etc. At Sweco, we have supported national plans on implementation for hydrogen refueling stations across EU, in China etc., as well as inspired to partnerships, studied regulations, and worked on design and business cases and traffic situation around the refueling.
Huge need for energy storage
EU’s hydrogen strategy underlines that there is a huge need for energy storage to support the extensively build-out of intermittent energy such as wind and solar. This has effects on the energy market, where Sweco is working with issues such as regulation, costs and power grid services. Our work on using hydrogen as a feedstock for electrofuels goes back long, and the market of industries to cover the demand for renewable fuels is strong. The prerequisites to use hydrogen in buildings are dependent on the national contexts, which we also have shown in projects. Globally, there are hundreds of thousands of small-scale installations in buildings already, which proves that the technology is mature. In Poland, Sweco supports low-carbon multisource hydrogen production and waste-to-hydrogen; in Belgium development of process control of hydrogen based systems is a service; in the Netherlands hydrogen based energy systems are developed, in Denmark Sweco works on power-to-gas systems, in Norway hydrogen production for the marine sector is present business and in Finland Sweco have supported integration of electrolysers in chemical industry including safety measures, to give some recent examples.
Sweco naturally assess sector couplings – power, heat, fuel– when they are all integrated they offer more optimal solutions, in combination with demand side management.
Look! As the European Fuel Cell Hydrogen Joint Undertaking points out in The Hydrogen Roadmap Europe, and in their illustration copied below, there is a huge possible need for hydrogen in the future. From today’s hydrogen usage mainly in industry, the 2050 forecast outlines a much wider potential, for example in buildings, for carbon capture and utilization, electrofuel production, use in vehicles, refineries and for power generation.
Investors and public funding available
Finally, I have to point to the fact that founders see the interesting opportunities that hydrogen offers. EU, organizations and many countries have already dedicated huge funds to support the development. I can proudly say that Sweco has an excellent track record on achieving public funding for customers and clusters, as well as due diligence work for investors within the energy area.
The first EU hydrogen strategy was published this summer, together with the announcement that 470 billion € will be dedicated to support the necessary market development of production of renewable hydrogen, and to give hydrogen a role as energy storage, feedstock for electrofuel production etc. Germany, Norway, Finland, Australia, – the list of countries with adopted national hydrogen strategies is getting longer.