Andreas Glitsch, Senior Manager
Hitachi Energy, a global technology leader that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all, is focused on developing innovative products, solutions, and services that support a clean energy transition for customers and partners, which includes ways of harnessing green hydrogen for a decarbonized future.
Rapidly increasing global demand for hydrogen is also driving up demand for clean, green hydrogen production, which in turn requires vast amounts of green energy, electrolysers and peripheral electrical equipment.
"We are delighted to play a significant and enabling role in the growing hydrogen sector offering leading-edge advisory services and technologies to accelerate the energy transition," said Marco Berardi, Head of Grid & Power Quality Solutions and Service business at Hitachi Energy. "Our solutions for the hydrogen sector support the generation of efficient and reliable clean energy. On the one hand, we offer world-class expertise in connecting electrolyser systems to the grid, and on the other, we are driving innovation in clean power generation leveraging hydrogen fuel cell technology."
There are several ways of producing hydrogen with varying carbon intensity. Water electrolysis uses an electrolyser and an electric current to split fresh water into its constituent elements, hydrogen and oxygen. If the electricity used in this process comes exclusively from renewable sources like wind or solar, the hydrogen produced is called green hydrogen.
Most hydrogen today is produced by reforming fossil fuels like gas or coal. These processes emit large amounts of CO2, while water electrolysis utilizing renewable energy produces a nearly CO2-free form of hydrogen.
Green hydrogen is a new and complementing component in the electrification space, where Hitachi Energy can add substantial value and innovation. With vast domain expertise in grid connection and power quality solutions, it develops groundbreaking technologies that enable renewables integration, high power quality and reliable and resilient power grids.
"We expand in new directions to support customers with crucial innovations to meet the needs of the evolving global clean energy transition and offer advanced and proven solutions to connect high-power (>20 MW) electrolysers to the high-voltage grid," said Berardi. “We focus on optimizing the complete power supply system, from early-stage techno-economic studies and advise to grid connection and Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) down to stack terminals and O&M software which increases your system performance.”
Hydrogen and renewable electricity are vital in the energy transition. For instance, a green value chain can supply clean fuel for heavy transport and supports hard-to-abate industries, such as steel, fertilizers, chemicals and oil and gas to lower their carbon footprint. It can also electrify remote construction sites, and provide clean backup power where it is needed.
At all project phases, Hitachi Energy optimizes the costs, footprint, and efficiency of green hydrogen projects and helps remove the risk of not being grid-code compliant.
The restrictions on the use of fossil fuels are forcing us to rethink the status quo. To address this need, new products under development include a hydrogen power generator, based on zero-emission fuel cell technology.
In 2021, Hitachi Energy and PowerCell agreed to collaborate on fuel cell-based power solutions contributing to the green energy transition. Hydrogen power generators are a disruptive replacement technology for carbon-intensive fossil fuel-based generators such as diesel gensets.
A key feature of hydrogen is its capacity to store energy over long periods and convert it back to power when needed. Built to decarbonize sectors and applications such as remote construction sites and provide clean backup power, Hitachi Energy's hydrogen power generator will be available as a medium-power movable product (400-600 kVA) and a high-power stationary product (1 MVA+). This integrated and configurable clean energy generator can scale up to meet our customers' specific power needs.
Hitachi Energy is at the forefront of such efforts. Last year, it announced a collaboration with H2 Green Steel in Sweden to eliminate nearly all CO2 emissions from the steel production process with a gigawatt-scale electrolyser plant that will supply green hydrogen instead of coal to enable the production of green steel. This fully integrated process uses end-to-end digitalization and reduces up to 95 percent of CO2 emissions compared to traditional steelmaking.