Our groundbreaking SOEC technology for electrolysis and production of green hydrogen just got a major stamp of approval.
Topsoe, a global leader in carbon emission reduction technologies, receives EUR 94 million from the EU Innovation Fund. The funding will help de-risk the construction of the 500 MW factory in Herning, Denmark. The factory is Topsoe’s single biggest investment to date and is scheduled to be operational by 2025.
The factory will produce advanced and energy-efficient Solid Oxide Electrolyzer Cells (SOEC) needed to produce green hydrogen and its derivatives. Electrolyzers are key to decarbonizing energy-intensive industries and long-distance transport that cannot be easily electrified. Therefore, we can operate ships at sea and aeroplanes in the air with CO2-neutral fuels so that our climate impact will be much less than it is today.
In Europe alone, the EU Commission has announced a proposal to deploy 40 GW of electrolyzers produced in Europe by 2030.
The green hydrogen produced from the factory’s SOEC electrolyzers will reduce emissions by approximately 7.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent over the first ten years of operation when compared to hydrogen produced from natural gas.
mean for Topsoe and
“I’m very grateful, that the EU Innovation Fund shows faith in our electrolysis technology and has decided to support with this generous grant. EU funding is important to de-risk this massive investment and will not only support our endeavors to back the green hydrogen economy but the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality target and the global energy transition in general. We’re facing an immense task to decarbonize energy-intensive industries and long-distance transportation, which together accounts for around 30% of global carbon emissions. The great news is that we know how to do it. But we need to secure offtake and scale production."
CEO at Topsoe
The world’s first industrial-scale SOEC factory
With our investment in Herning we are establishing the world's most advanced factory for the production of the next generation of electrolysis technology. This technology is of great importance for the green transition of our energy system. It is indispensable for converting electricity into hydrogen, which can be transformed into other forms of CO2-neutral fuels, a process also known as Power-to-X.
Our new SOEC factory in Herning is the largest of its kind globally and will have the capacity to produce electrolysis technology of 500 megawatts per year. This is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of almost one million Danish households – with the potential for the factory to expand to 5 gigawatts, representing ten times the current energy output.
ELECTROLYSIS CAN ACCELERATE THE GREEN TRANSITION
Electrolysis technology is a central part of Power-to-X and therefore crucial for the green transition.
Power-to-X can help decarbonize challenging sectors such as cement, chemicals, and steel, as well as heavy transport modes like ships, airplanes, and trucks. These sectors are deemed 'hard-to-abate' due to their substantial energy needs, making CO2 footprint reduction difficult.
Green hydrogen produced through electrolysis serves as a CO2-neutral fuel and a key component for manufacturing climate-neutral fuels such as green ammonia, eMethanol, and CO2-neutral diesel and green chemicals, positioning hydrogen as a crucial player in the green transition.
WHAT IS POWER-TO-X?
Power-to-X plays a vital role in achieving the UN's global goal of CO2 neutrality
Power-to-X uses electrolysis, converting electricity into hydrogen by splitting water molecules (H2O) into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2).
Electrolysis can produce different types of hydrogen with varying CO2 footprints. categorized by color: gray, brown, blue, pink, and green, depending on the energy source.
We call it green hydrogen when it is generated through electrolysis using renewable energy. It is considered the fuel of the future because it can be transformed into CO2-neutral fuels, and applied in industries that are otherwise challenging to electrify, including heavy transport. The electrolysis technology from Herning will play a crucial role in the green transition, emphasizing the instrumental role of Power-to-X.
WHAT IS ELECTROLYSIS TECHNOLOGY?
To produce green hydrogen, we need electrolysis technology, water or steam, and a renewable energy source
With these ingredients, electrolysis can split water into oxygen and hydrogen, and the hydrogen can be used to produce green fuels for various purposes.
The electrolysis technology consists of a cell where the electrolysis takes place. What is unique about our electrolysis technology is that we stack 100 cells in a structure called a stack to accommodate more cells. The core of the electrolysis technology—a kind of cylinder container—can hold 12 stacks.
There are three different types of electrolysis technologies: Alkaline, PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane), and SOEC (Solid-Oxide Electrolysis Cell). Our electrolysis is based on SOEC, which differs from the other technologies by using steam instead of liquid water for the electrolysis.
WHAT IS SOEC TECHNOLOGY?
The benefits of high-temperature electrolysis
SOEC technology is the most efficient electrolysis we have today, but historically, it has been less attractive commercially because the costs have been too high relative to capacity.
Topsoe’s SOEC electrolysis technology is a modular design that leverages high-temperature electrolysis – a tested and proven process that enables industrial-scale production of green hydrogen using renewable electricity. Due to the nature of the high-temperature electrolysis, Topsoe’s SOEC technology is about 30 percent more energy-efficient compared to conventional electrolyzer technologies.
Additionally, when coupled with waste heat-producing technologies (such as those used in ammonia, methanol, or steel production), SOEC allows for the lowest levelized hydrogen cost, no matter the industry.
and the new factory
mean for SOEC
“We’re excited that we have succeeded to attract this significant funding, as this is a clear recognition of our SOEC-technology being state-of-the-art. It’s a high-temperature technology capable of producing 30% more green hydrogen based on the same input of renewable power when compared to standard technologies. The factory is the first of hopefully many more of its kind, making us able to truly help decarbonize shipping, aviation, steel and many more industries."
CEO Power-to-X at Topsoe
Topsoe is a leading global provider of technology and solutions for the energy transition. We combat climate change by helping our customers and partners achieve their decarbonization and emission reduction goals.
Based on decades of scientific research and innovation, we offer world leading solutions for transforming renewable resources into fuels and chemicals for a sustainable world, and for efficient and low-carbon fuel production and clean air.
We were founded in 1940 and are headquartered in Denmark, with over 2,800 employees serving customers all around the globe. To learn more, visit www.topsoe.com
Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.