Equinor, the state-owned oil corporation of Norway, has reportedly set out plans to construct the worlds largest hydrogen production facility with carbon storage as well as capture technology near Hull. This new plant will triple Equinor's hydrogen output in the UK.
Equinor aims to supply the Lincolnshire-based Keadby gas power station, owned by energy giant SSE, with clean burning 'blue hydrogen'. This would make it the first full-scale power plant in the world to use pure hydrogen to produce electricity.
On Monday, Equinor CEO, Anders Opedal, stated that the firm aims to generate another 1,200MW of blue hydrogen in Humber to keep the Keadby hydrogen power plant supplied.
Opedal added that there was no realistic road to net-zero and achieving the Paris Agreement goals without carbon capture technology and hydrogen.
Earlier in 2021, Equinor and SSE outlined plans to create hydrogen that would be sufficient to supply the Saltend Power Station and Saltend Chemicals Park. The 600MW project will take out hydrogen from traditional fossil fuels, leaving carbon dioxide behind, which would be trapped and stored through carbon capture technology.
Hydrogen is the main component of the UK's carbon-reduction strategy since it can be used to replace natural gas in factories and electric power plants, reducing the country's dependency on fossil fuels for transportation and heating.
However, many environmentalists have urged policymakers to invest in renewable energy to produce green hydrogen or hydrogen from water, instead of creating hydrogen through carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, which is not completely capable of eliminating carbon emission and is an expensive technology.
According to recent research from the Global CCS Institute, the world’s total CCS capacity needs to increase 100 times to be able to fulfill the global climate objectives, costing between $655 billion (£472 billion) and more than $1 trillion over the next three decades.
Chief executive of the Institute, Brad Page, cautioned that the required investments are much beyond what governments are prepared to offer, which means policymakers would have to play a crucial role in enabling large-scale private sector financing.