ACWA Power, a Saudi developer, investor, and operator of power generation, water desalination, and green hydrogen plants worldwide, has finalized a partnership agreement with Austrian electricity company Verbund. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2023. This partnership will jointly explore the potential development of green hydrogen projects in the Middle East. The intent is to produce enough hydrogen for Verbund to use as a renewable energy source in Central Europe, primarily focusing on Austria.
Given its positive environmental implications and capabilities to decarbonize entire industrial sectors, energy sector players around the globe are embarking on green hydrogen projects that will harness their full potential in the decades ahead.
At the point of consumption, hydrogen emits only water. Two of the most common methods of producing hydrogen are steam reforming, in which high-temperature steam is used to separate hydrogen from natural gas molecules, and electrolysis, in which hydrogen is separated from water molecules using electricity.
In addition to being environmentally friendly, green hydrogen is one of the most promising solutions for combating climate change and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon or carbon-free society, since it emits zero carbon dioxide (CO2).
The global capacity of electrolyzers, which produce hydrogen fuel from electricity rather than natural gas, has doubled over the past five years. As of January 2023, approximately 500 more projects are in some stage of development.
While the collaboration between ACWA Power and Verbund has only just begun, the two parties are well positioned to move the project forward as quickly as possible, partly because ACWA Power is engaged and actively involved in green hydrogen initiatives.
NEOM Green Hydrogen Company (NGHC), an equal joint venture between ACWA Power, Air Products, and NEOM, is developing the world’s first at-scale green hydrogen project. Scheduled for completion in 2026, the project will produce up to 600 tonnes per day of carbon-free green hydrogen in the form of green ammonia to be utilized as a cost-effective solution for global transportation.
Verbund’s technological capabilities combined with ACWA Power’s green hydrogen knowledge will help ensure that the MoU’s objectives, terms, and goals are met moving forward.