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Equinor and RWE cooperating on energy security and the energy transition

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Norway and Germany are working together to create the energy system of the future.

Together with German energy company RWE, we have presented a plan to replace German coal-fired power plants with gas-fired, hydrogen-ready power plants. The plan also describes how Norwegian low-carbon hydrogen and renewable hydrogen can be exported to Germany by pipeline.

Faced with the major societal and environmental challenges ahead of us, we believe it is essential to develop a decarbonised energy system for Europe that creates jobs, stimulates industry and ensures value creation – as well as providing energy for people and society.

Low carbon hydrogen and renewable hydrogen will reduce carbon emissions significantly.

Norway is the largest natural gas supplier to Europe, and Norwegian gas has the lowest carbon footprint compared with other gas supply alternatives.

Our collaboration aims to:

  • Strengthen energy security for Germany – Europe’s leading industrial country – in the short and long term
  • Offer a viable route to a necessary energy transition for hard-to-abate industries (steel, concrete, etc.)
  • Develop Norway – Europe’s leading supplier of natural gas – into a key supplier of hydrogen to Germany and Europe
  • Provide for the joint development of offshore wind farms to produce renewable hydrogen as a feedstock for power customers and other industrial customers in the future.

Should we ensure energy security or deliver on the energy transition?
We can do both — at the same time.

This is what the future energy system may look like:

Secure natural gas supply. Reducing coal power plants. Building hydrogen ready power plants.

Securing natural gas supplies
The cooperation between Equinor in Norway and RWE in Germany is based on a number of phases that will be important for the development of new infrastructure.

Phasing out coal-fired power plants
The building of new gas-fired, hydrogen-ready power plants will take place in accordance with Germany’s roadmap for phasing out coal-fired power plants. Equinor and RWE will jointly own the gas power plants.

Hydrogen-ready power plants
In the beginning, the gas-fired plants will run on natural gas. Later they will gradually phase in hydrogen as a feedstock, with the ambition of running entirely on hydrogen when volumes and technology are available.

Hydrogen production facilities. Carbon capture & storage.  Hydrogen export pipeline.

Hydrogen producing facilities
Facilities will be built in Norway for the production of low-carbon hydrogen from natural gas with carbon capture and storage.

Carbon capture & storage
Low-carbon hydrogen will be produced from Norwegian gas. Over 95% of CO2 from the gas will be removed during the production process on land in Norway. The CO2 will then be transported and stored safely under the seabed offshore Norway.

The low-carbon hydrogen will be transported from Norway to Germany via pipeline for use by large industrial customers.

Hydrogen export pipeline
The establishment of a pipeline will be essential for the reliable supply of hydrogen to both Germany and the EU as a whole. This is now being evaluated by Gassco and its partners in connection with a German-Norwegian feasibility study.

Offshore wind projects. Energy security

Offshore wind projects
The collaboration aims for the joint development of offshore wind farms to produce renewable hydrogen as a feedstock for power customers and other industrial customers in the future.

The hydrogen that the gas-fired, hydrogen-ready power plants will utilise will transition over time to be produced by offshore wind projects in Germany and Norway. It will lead to the delivery of fully decarbonised fuels and raw materials, supply to industrial sectors and support intermittent power generation from renewable energy sources. 

Energy security
Both RWE and Equinor aim to take leading positions in the energy transition. To achieve a fully decarbonized energy system, the parties depend on collaboration with governments, local authorities, regulators, communities, industry partners, suppliers and others.

RWE and Equinor - Map

How will this project take shape?

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Marketing, Midstream & Processing executive vice president Irene Rummelhoff explains how the project will develop and deliver.