Never-ending green energy woes: high construction costs… uneconomical…”associated major economic risks”
Hydrogen will be the technology that will ultimately solve all the world’s energy woes, so claim those who are finally realizing that a lithium battery powered economy is a pipe dream after all. And, so must the green economy show go on.
But not so fast. Hydrogen has its drawbacks
Blackout News reports that the green hydrogen project Westküste 100 in Heide, Germany, has been “halted prematurely”. The reason: It’s just plain uneconomical. Obviously, despite having been told hundreds of times already, planners are just finding out that energy from green hydrogen is just too expensive.
According to the Westküste 100 press release: “After intensive examination of all general conditions, the joint venture will not make a positive investment decision. This is due to the increased investment costs and the associated major economic risks.”
“The ‘Westküste 100’ electrolysis plant project was terminated prematurely three years after the start of the project. Raffinerie Heide, Ørsted Deutschland and Hynamics Deutschland have announced that they will not be building an electrolyzer,” writes Blackout News. “The main reason for the decision against the 30-megawatt plant is the high construction costs, according to the companies in a press release.”
The Westküste 100 project’s aim was to develop and implement a regional hydrogen economy on an industrial scale. Green hydrogen was supposed to be generated based on renewable sources of energy (wind power and photovoltaics), using a 30-megawatt (MW) electrolyzer, To achieve this goal, regional and international companies from industry, development and research merged, to produce, store, transport and utilize green hydrogen, according to Westküste’s website here.
Millions in subsidies wasted
Now it turns out that, despite millions in subsidies, the project is a money loser. The project was started in 2020 and was to be funded to the tune of 36 millions euros from the government.
“Despite the funding, the economic viability of the plant for green hydrogen production on an industrial scale is not given, according to the investor consortium,” summarizes Blackout News.
Yet, Environment Minister Tobias Goldschmidt (Green Party) insists that the “Hyscale 100” electrolyzer plant – which is 3 times larger than Westküste 100 – will continue with the support of the state government. It is still in the planning phase.
No market, costs not right
Jörg Kubitza, Managing Director of offshore wind company Ørsted-Germany, said there was no economic viability for the project and so the Danish company opted out. “The costs had to be right and a market had to be created, which was not the case here.”
The city utility in Heide had planned to provide “green heating” by mixing the green hydrogen with natural gas. “This project has now also been discontinued as a result of the electrolysis plant being abandoned,” reports Blackout News.