Siemens Energy, partners inaugurate first industrial scale Green Hydrogen Project in the MENA region

May 26, 2021

Siemens Energy, in collaboration with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), and Expo 2020 Dubai, has inaugurated the first industrial scale, solar-driven green hydrogen facility in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), region.

Located at DEWA’s Outdoor Testing Facility of the Research and Development (R&D) Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, the Green Hydrogen Project serves as a major milestone in the advancement of the sustainable energy industry in the region.

The integrated facility was developed with electrolysis, storage, and re-electrification capabilities, to maximize the benefits of the pilot project. Daylight solar power from the solar park will enable the pilot project to produce around 20.5kg/hr of hydrogen at 1.25MWe of peak power. Operational data from the green hydrogen electrolysis will be displayed at Expo 2020, one of the most sustainable World Expos in history and the largest event ever held in the Arab world.

Utilizing this pilot project, DEWA aims to demonstrate the production of green hydrogen from solar power, as well as the storage, and re-electrification of hydrogen. This is a system that allows for buffering renewable energy production, both for fast response applications, as well as for long-term storage. The plant has been built to accommodate future applications and test platforms for the different uses of hydrogen, including potential mobility and industrial uses.

Power for the Green Hydrogen Project will be provided by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which will generate 5,000 megawatts of clean energy by 2030 as the largest single-site solar park in the world.

Hydrogen can be used for re-electrification through gas motors, gas turbines and fuel cells. It can also be used as a feedstock for the chemical industry (e.g. ammonia, syn-fuels, green-chemicals, etc.), as fuel for transportation, a reducing agent for the steel industry, as heat for industrial processes, gas for residential heating and cooking purposes, or energy for export.

Hydrogen technologies will accelerate renewable energy integration and deployment in the region and pave the way for the transition to a sustainable and green economy in the UAE. Hydrogen is a highly efficient energy carrier. Upon combustion, the only byproduct of this zero-emissions fuel is water, making it an ideal medium for electrification and the substitution of fossil fuels in industrial processes and other applications by way of sector coupling. It can be transported using existing pipeline infrastructure and/or via trailers and tankers, either as hydrogen or derivatives like ammonia, methanol, etc.

Moreover, hydrogen is very suitable for large-scale, as well as long-term, and high-capacity storage and can provide fast and sustained energy levels, suitable to offset intermittent output from some renewable energy sources. It can be used to fuel gas turbines, which offer the flexibility and fast ramp-up needed to balance volatile power generation from some renewable sources.

The operational experience gained from the Green Hydrogen Project will be invaluable in developing sustainable and carbon-free solutions for numerous industries, which will drive green economic growth for the benefit of future generations.

Against the background of low costs of electricity for solar PV and wind power in the region, hydrogen has the potential to be a key fuel in the energy mix of the future and could open up energy export opportunities for those areas with access to abundant renewable energies.

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