Several pilot plants should be online in the next 4 years offshore. With the presence of more regular winds, the capability soon to go far away from coasts with larger turbines, and the availability of the main necessary resource, water, those new development will have a bright future
– the one on the test site SEM-REV of French Engineering school Centrale Nantes by the hydrogen producer Lhyfe off the coast of Le Croisic in France
– the PosHYdon project in Netherlands by Nexsteps,the Dutch association for decommissioning and reuse which is interesting because taking advantage of existing platforms from the operator Neptune that were supposed to be decommissioned and instead will have a new life. The gas should be brought back to shore via subsea pipelines
– the FlexH2 project in Netherlands led by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency with the support of Shell
All those projects have in common to be pilots where engineering school or universities are heavily involved with industrials coming from wind and oil and gas.
As any pilot, they are small but designed to be scalable. They use wind offshore farms (ideally floating wind offshore rather than near coast wind onshore) to generate electricity and allow wind to hydrogen process through electrolysis.
Needless to say, that the efficiency of such projects is questionable, but on the other hand it is a way to produce a completely green hydrogen instead of grey/blue hydrogen.
All those projects are using seawater; and after a process of demineralization, are using electrolysis to extract hydrogen. The gas can then be transported back to shore via subsea pipeline or stored.
On the storage side, 2 options are currently explored: using gas tankers or when possible underground storage as the solution explored by Tractebel in North Sea currently.