Shell has started up Europe’s largest hydrogen electrolyser of its kind at our energy and chemicals park Rheinland, in Germany.

As part of the Refhyne consortium and with funding from the European Commission, the 10 megawatt PEM electrolyser uses renewable energy to initially produce up to 1,300 tonnes of green hydrogen a year.

The green hydrogen will initially be used to produce fuels with lower carbon-intensity at the refinery and Shell are also working to enable the green hydrogen to help decarbonise other sectors such as road transport.

The fully operational plant is the first to use this technology at such a large scale in a refinery and plans are already under way to expand the capacity of the electrolyser from 10 megawatts to 100 megawatts.

In our Powering Progress Strategy, Shell set a target to become a net-zero-emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society. As part of our plan we will transform five core refineries into integrated Energy and Chemicals Parks by 2030.

Transforming these refineries will mean using more recycled and renewables feedstocks, such as hydrogen and waste oils and processing less crude oil. As a result, by 2030 Shell will reduce production of traditional fuels by 55% and will produce more of the low-carbon fuels, chemicals and energy products that our customers need. 

These changes to our product portfolio will help reduce the emissions generated while making our product and also those from the use of these products. The start-up of the Refhyne electrolyser is a great step as Shell accelerates its journey to meeting the evolving energy needs of our customers.

Hydrogen in the global energy system

Shell sees great potential for the use of hydrogen in a range of sectors, from production to industry. Click on each sector to find out more.

Production

Wind turbines at Noordzee Wind Farm, Netherlands

Shell’s ultimate goal is to produce green hydrogen, through electrolysis, using renewable power such as wind and solar. But moving quickly in the energy transition means both green and blue hydrogen can play a role in the decade ahead. Blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas and later decarbonised, using carbon capture and storage.

In order to keep up with increasing hydrogen and renewable power demand, blue hydrogen can provide an interim solution to help build the hydrogen ecosystem while still lowering emissions.

See Shell’s current projects below:

Download the map with Shell electrolyser projects

Germany: REFHYNE electrolyser

In July 2021, Shell has opened the REFHYNE electrolyser at our chemicals and energy plant Rheinland, Germany. With vital funding of the EU’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, this 10MW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser is the largest of its kind in Europe. The electrolyser was built by ITM Power and will be operated by Shell, producing 1,300 tonnes of green hydrogen per year from renewable energy. Plans are already in place to expand the capacity of the electrolyser to 100MW.

Netherlands: NortH2

Shell, together with its consortium partners, Gasunie and Groningen Seaports, is aiming to build the largest European green hydrogen project in the Netherlands by 2040. If given the go-ahead, NortH2 will be capable of producing more than 800,000 tonnes of green hydrogen by electricity generated from a 10 GW offshore wind farm in the North Sea. In December 2020, RWE and Equinor joined the consortium.

Netherlands: Rotterdam Green Hydrogen Hub

Shell is working together with partners to create a green hydrogen hub in the Port of Rotterdam. In July 2020 Shell and Eneco were awarded a tender for the 759 MW Hollandse Kust Noord offshore wind project in the North Sea, which will become operational in 2023. Shell is planning to build a 200 MW electrolyser in the Port of Rotterdam, which is intended to start operations by 2023 to produce about 50,000 – 60,000 kg of hydrogen per day. The green hydrogen produced will initially be used at the Shell refinery in Pernis to partially decarbonise the production of fossil fuels. A final investment decision on the electrolyser is yet to be taken.

Netherlands: Emmen

A 12 MW solar park is being built as a part of the energy hub GZI Next. Apart from producing solar energy, this energy hub will produce hydrogen as well.

China: Zhangjiakou City

In November 2020 Shell unveiled its first commercial hydrogen project in China. This infrastructure included a 20 MW hydrogen electrolyser which will see green hydrogen produced from abundant wind and solar resources in Hebei province. The joint venture with Zhangjiakou City will be used to support the development of hydrogen and clean energy in the region as well as supply hydrogen refueling stations in Zhangjiakou, which is one of the co-hosts of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

See all projects on the world map here.

Light duty

Power cars and bus

 

Hydrogen can play a significant role in decarbonising transport. In order to play that role, Shell is providing world leading hydrogen road infrastructure for hydrogen fuel cell cars, in line with customer demand. Today, Shell has opened around 50 hydrogen stations for light duty vehicles and has approved the construction of 50 more.

Hydrogen vehicles store energy as compressed hydrogen fuel. These vehicles can drive up to 700 km on one tank of fuel and take only a few minutes to refill.

Hydrogen vehicles also produce no greenhouse gases from the exhaust pipe – the only emission is water vapour. Indeed, when renewable electricity is used to produce the hydrogen, then the process of driving a hydrogen vehicle is nearly entirely emission-free.

H2 mobility joint venture in Germany

In Germany, Shell is a member of the H2 Mobility joint-venture for developing a nationwide network of hydrogen fuelling stations for passenger cars. The venture already operates more than 80 stations across the country, with plans to reach 100 in mid-2021.

Refuelling stations in California

Shell has opened eight hydrogen refuelling stations in California, with a ninth due to open in early 2021. This number is set to grow beyond 50 after Shell was awarded $40.8 million by the California Energy Commission to install hydrogen refuelling equipment at 48 existing Shell retail stations, upgrade two Shell hydrogen stations and add light-duty fuelling dispensers at one existing Shell hydrogen heavy-duty truck station.

Shell also has hydrogen stations in the UK, the Netherlands and Canada, with plans to open our first stations in China.

See the map below to see all Shell hydrogen stations globally.

Heavy duty

Heavy duty transport

Hydrogen has the potential to be an important, safe, low-carbon transport fuel, particularly for heavy-duty transport such as trucks, buses and shipping.

Heavy duty trucking H2Accelerate

Shell is involved in H2Accelerate, a mobility consortium designed to create the conditions for a large-scale rollout of hydrogen trucking infrastructure across Europe in the next decade. Working together with Daimler AG, IVECO, OMV and Volvo Group, H2Accelerate aims to prove the viability of hydrogen for heavy duty in Europe, first in small clusters then rapidly across the continent by 2030. Synchronized investments across the sector during the 2020s will create the conditions for the mass market roll-out of hydrogen fueled heavy duty transportation which is required to meet the European ambition of net zero emissions by 2050.

California refuelling stations for trucks

In California, Shell is part of a consortium that is developing three new large-capacity refuelling stations for heavy-duty hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, in collaboration with Toyota and Kenworth Truck Company. These stations will form the first hydrogen truck refuelling network in California. In doing so they will help reduce emissions along a heavily polluted road that connects the Port of Los Angeles with a major warehouse complex inland. This is a multi-year project.

Shipping

Shell is working closely with partners on the delivery of the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier. The ship, Suiso Frontier, was launched in 2019. It will be a demonstration case for potential large-scale distribution of hydrogen between Australia and Japan.

Buses

A Dutch bus company will fuel their buses with hydrogen from Shell at a newly built hydrogen station. Qbuzz plans to have 20 buses driving on hydrogen fuel by 2021.

See the map below to see all Shell hydrogen stations globally.

Industry