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Hydrogen

What is low carbon hydrogen and what are bp’s hydrogen plans?

We're aiming to be a net zero company by 2050 or sooner and in support of this, bp is determined to advance the hydrogen industry across the UK, Europe, Australia and US

 

Hydrogen is set to provide a low carbon energy for activities and processes that are difficult to electrify – especially in industry: iron, steel and chemicals for high-temperature processes. It will help to decarbonize long-distance transportation in marine, aviation and heavy-duty road transport.

 

By building on our low carbon businesses and our existing capabilities, we intend to capture a 10% share of hydrogen in core markets by 2030. To achieve this, we are accessing new segments, such as the mobility and industrial sectors – including the decarbonization of our own refineries.

 

UK

In the UK, we are developing plans for one of the UK’s largest blue hydrogen production facilities: H2Teesside. Work has started on a world-class, low carbon hydrogen hub that could supply 15% of the UK government’s ambition for 10GW of hydrogen by 2030.

 

H2Teesside aims to help surrounding industries decarbonize their existing operations by switching fuel from natural gas to low carbon hydrogen, enabling their manufacturing facilities to produce low carbon products as society progresses towards a net zero future.

The development is expected to help lead a low carbon transformation, supporting jobs, regeneration and the revitalization of the surrounding area.

 

H2Teesside and HyGreen Teesside – a new large-scale green hydrogen production facility project planned by bp – together have the potential to deliver 30% of the UK’s 2030 target for low carbon hydrogen production. The HyGreen Teesside project aims to produce up to 500 megawatts of green hydrogen by 2030.

 

Our plans to take out emissions from some of the hardest sectors to decarbonize not only involve hydrogen, but also carbon capture and storage (CCS). CCS is a tool to decarbonize energy-intensive sectors, such as cement and power generation, by taking emissions from source and storing them underground.


Under the government’s net zero plan, the country is aiming to capture 50 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2035. H2Teesside would capture and store up to 2 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Europe

After signing a letter of intent in November 2020, bp and Ørsted went on to form a joint venture in 2021 to work together and build an electrolyser and associated infrastructure at bp’s Lingen Refinery in north-‎west Germany. The project, currently in the optimize phase, plans to initially build a 100MW electrolyser.


In Rotterdam, we are teaming up with Netherlands-based firm HYCC to develop a 250MW plant – this city’s largest green hydrogen project.


We also plan to integrate flexible, scalable demand for renewable power as part of the Hollandse Kust west licensing round.

Australia

Situated on a 6,500km2 site in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, the Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) is in a highly advantaged position with access to abundant solar and wind resources with consistent output.


The project intends to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia for the domestic Australian market and export to major international users as well as supply renewable power to local customers in the largest mining region in the world.

US

bp and Linde plan to advance a major CCS project that will enable low carbon hydrogen production at Linde’s existing production facilities in the greater Houston area. The development will also support the storage of CO2 captured from other industrial facilities – paving the way for large-scale decarbonization of the Texas Gulf Coast industrial corridor.

Hydrogen explainers

What is hydrogen, how is it made and why is it important?

Green hydrogen, commonly defined as electrolytic low carbon hydrogen, is made by water electrolysis using renewable power such as solar or wind.
Blue hydrogen, or CCUS-enabled low carbon hydrogen, is hydrogen that is extracted from natural gas but the vast majority of CO2 produced during the process is captured and stored permanently.
“bp analysis shows that hydrogen could have around an 8% share in final energy consumption by 2050. When we include other hydrogen demand to produce synthetic fuels and generate power, total hydrogen demand nearly doubles. To put that into context, this would be broadly similar to the share of the global energy mix that natural gas has today.”
Felipe Arbelaez

Felipe Arbelaez, SVP, hydrogen and CCUS

Hydrogen news and stories

  • Hydrogen

Four key questions about hydrogen

What is low carbon hydrogen?

What is low carbon hydrogen?

Low carbon hydrogen can either be produced by electrolysis of water powered by renewable energy or from natural gas where CO2 produced is captured and stored. Hydrogen, alongside other low carbon energy vectors such as electricity from renewables like wind and solar or biofuels, is highly versatile and will play a key role in the energy transition, decarbonizing applications in industry, energy and transportation.


Under the Net Zero scenario in the bp Energy Outlook, it is projected to provide roughly 8% of total final energy consumption by 2050. When we factor in additional hydrogen demand to generate electricity and produce fuels such as ammonia, methanol and synthetic jet fuel, total hydrogen demand could be roughly double this.

 

There are three main types of hydrogen production which are differentiated using colours – green, blue and grey. Green and blue hydrogen are both types of low carbon hydrogen. Grey hydrogen is produced via natural gas but without CCUS, so it has a large greenhouse gas footprint and is not low carbon.

Why does hydrogen matter?

Why does hydrogen matter?

Hydrogen energy matters because the world’s collective ability to reach net zero emissions by 2050 will be dependent on finding solutions to decarbonize all areas of the economy.


Low carbon hydrogen is a core technology to decarbonise applications across industry, transportation and energy, in particular in those applications hard to reach by direct electrification or lacking other decarbonization pathways. 


bp is targeting sectors where the switch to electrification will be most difficult. One of these is heavy industry – where hydrogen will play an important role in decarbonizing high-grade industrial heat processes such as those in the steel, cement, refining, and petrochemical sectors, and as a feedstock for industries (i.e., iron and steel production, and ammonia for fertilizer, methanol and refining).  Another is the transport sector – where hydrogen or fuels derived from hydrogen (e.g. ammonia, methanol or synthetic jet fuel) will provide low-carbon solutions for heavy-duty, long-haul segments of transport, including aviation, shipping and heavy goods vehicles.

 

bp pledges that by 2030 it aims to:

  • Produce at least 500 ktpa new hydrogen in core markets comprising low and ultra-low carbon hydrogen, with up to 50% ultra-low carbon hydrogen from renewable sources. Some of this new production will be used in our European refineries as a substitute for the natural-gas based SMR-grey hydrogen currently used. 
  • Have a network of more than 50 hydrogen refuelling stations dispensing low carbon and renewable ultra-low carbon hydrogen, with an initial focus in Germany and the UK.

 

We will publicly report progress against the pledge in bp’s sustainability report. 

What approach to hydrogen is bp calling for?

What approach to hydrogen is bp calling for?

To help fulfil hydrogen’s vast potential, we believe a twin-track approach, involving both electrolytic and CCUS-enabled hydrogen, is the best way forward. This approach aligns with bp’s Net Zero Scenario within our Energy Outlook, which forecasts that virtually all hydrogen will be either electrolytic (around 70%) or CCUS-enabled (around 30%) by 2050. It will take huge support to make hydrogen a widespread reality.

 

CCUS-enabled hydrogen represents an important stepping-stone to scaling up the hydrogen economy, and its growth will ultimately help drive down the cost of electrolytic hydrogen. While additional renewable energy and large-scale electrolyser technology to generate electrolytic hydrogen at scale is developed, low carbon CCUS-enabled hydrogen will play an important role in allowing industries to decarbonize. CCUS-enabled hydrogen complements the intermittent renewable power that drives electrolytic hydrogen. bp is therefore calling for policy and financial support for both low carbon hydrogen technologies.

Who is investing in green hydrogen?

Who is investing in green hydrogen?

bp is investing in green and blue hydrogen to help grow the industry. We have been leveraging demand and creating partnerships to develop both electrolytic and CCUS-enabled low carbon hydrogen projects around the world.

 

In November 2020, bp and Ørsted signed a letter of intent to work together to develop a project for industrial scale production of electrolytic hydrogen at bp’s Lingen refinery in north-west Germany, powered by renewable energy generated by an Ørsted offshore wind farm in the North Sea.

 

bp is also planning one of the UK’s largest CCUS-enabled hydrogen production facilities, called H2Teesside. It targets 1GW of hydrogen production by 2030 and would capture and send for storage approximately two million tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to capturing the emissions from heating one million UK households. The project also complements bp’s role of working alongside a range of commercial partners on the Net Zero Teesside Power and Northern Endurance Partnership CCUS projects – all working towards the aim of creating the world’s first zero carbon industrial hub by 2030.

 

In December 2021 bp announced plans for HyGreen Teesside, a major green hydrogen production facility aiming to produce 60MWe at start up in 2025 and up to 500MWe by 2030. 

 

bp also announced that we were forming a strategic partnership with ADNOC and Masdar to provide clean energy solutions for UK and UAE.