Vattenfall plans to give retired German coal plant new life as hydrogen hub

Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall plans to turn the site of its recently shuttered Moorburg coal power plant in northern Germany into a hub for turning wind and solar power into hydrogen.

Photo: Vattenfall

Vattenfall is riding the growing enthusiasm for hydrogen, with many countries seeing the clean fuel as key to a low-carbon economy. Governments are planning generous subsidies to support the fledgling technology, with the European Union aiming to direct as much as 470 billion euros (USD 570 billion) of investment toward hydrogen infrastructure in the coming decades.

Vattenfall signed a letter of intent with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and local utility Warme Hamburg to see how the former coal plant can be transformed to produce hydrogen by 2025, it said in a statement. The plans include building a 100-megawatt electrolyzer to use renewable power to make what’s essentially a fossil-free fuel.

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