The reason why the meeting was held in Luleå is that Germany has now identified northern Sweden as a center for hydrogen investments in Europe, and wanted to combine the roundtable discussion with a study visit to the HYBRIT pilot plant.
Catch 22 situation
"An important conclusion in this report, is that it seems that the hydrogen investments in Europe, are in a Catch 22 situation. In particular, when it comes to the production capacity of electrolysers, a key component in the production of hydrogen, it is far below what is required to realize the plans. Without electrolysers it is not possible to expand the hydrogen system and without a mass market for electrolysers it is not possible to find capital to expand production capacity, which is needed to keep up with the pace to achieve the goals of a fossil-free society”, says Rikard Gebart, Program manager CH2ESS and professor in Energy Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.
One of the companies that participated in the hydrogen meeting in Luleå was the Norwegian company NEL, one of the world's largest manufacturers of electrolysers, which has recently expanded with à new automated production lime to increase production, following an expected increase in demand. The company stated that despite the increased capacity, they are very far from being able to match the expected need in the coming decade.
Efforts at state level is recommended
"It is understandable that electrolyzer manufacturers can´t expand their factories based on media reports on planned projects, for that they need orders. One way to be able to untie this knot is efforts at the state level that help in the beginning so that the risk is reduced for the companies that want to invest in larger factories before the great demand for electrolysers has started. Without this stimulus, the hydrogen investments will slow down or even become impossible to implement, Rikard Gebart says.
Participating in the roundtable discussion on hydrogen in Luleå were stakeholders in politics, industry and academia from Germany, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden - including Rikard Gebart.
Read more about the report in the attached document.