Norwegian energy company Equinor has joined Europe’s biggest green hydrogen project, NortH2.

The NortH2 project aims to start a hydrogen economy in north-west Europe, using electricity from offshore wind off the coast of the Netherlands. It aims for 4GW of green hydrogen generation by 2030, and more than 10GW by 2040.

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This equates to 400,000t of green hydrogen production in 2030, and one million tonnes of green hydrogen production by 2040. This would offset eight to ten million tonnes of carbon emissions.

Equinor CEO Anders Opedal said: “Our aim is to be a net-zero energy company by 2050. Developing a profitable low carbon value chain for hydrogen will be an essential part of our transition to become a broad energy company.

“Hydrogen will be key to decarbonisation and net-zero efforts for the energy market, especially in otherwise hard to abate sectors which cannot be served by electricity.”

The project was launched in February this year, with Shell, Groningen Seaports Gasunie and the province of Groningen. Equinor joins RWE as new partners to it.

A feasibility study for the project is expected to be completed by next year. The group hopes to initiate project development activities in the second half of 2021.

Equinor New Energy Solutions executive vice-president Pål Eitrheim said: “NortH2 fits well with Equinor’s experience and position as a leading offshore wind operator. Hydrogen will add to the competitiveness of renewables in the years to come, by adding value and an alternative route to market for renewables.

“The development of viable large-scale clean hydrogen value chains will help meet Paris Agreement targets.”

Additionally, the NortH2 project will help meet Dutch domestic hydrogen demand, contributing EU climate targets for 2030.

In July this year, Equinor announced its intention to build a large environmentally-friendly “blue” hydrogen facility in Hull, UK.