Siemens Energy (Siemens) and Air Liquide are aiming to level up Europe’s hydrogen economy by collaborating to produce industrial scale renewable hydrogen electrolysers.

With hydrogen taking centre stage in the global energy transition, heightened demand for the gas needs to be met by increased production to both scale up the hydrogen economy and reduce costs. 

Signed today (23rd June), the joint venture (JV) will see Siemens and Air Liquide using their combined expertise to produce the electrolysers. 

The modules – or stacks – for the electrolysers will be produced at and supplied from a multi-gigawatt factory located in Berlin. 

Based on proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis technology, Siemens claims the technology is ‘ideally suited’ to harvest volatile renewable energy. 

Source: Siemens Energy

Revealing that the company wants to be a ‘driving force’ in hydrogen technology, Christian Bruch, CEO, President, Siemens Energy AG, added, “To make green hydrogen competitive, we need serially produced, low-cost, scalable electrolysers.” 

“Together with Air Liquide as a pioneer in hydrogen for over 50 years, we look forward to implementing innovative solutions and collaborating to shape this new hydrogen market.” 

The JV will also see the partners dedicating R&D capacities to the co-development of the next generation of electrolyser technologies. 

One of the first projects to benefit from the assembly of electrolyser systems is Air Liquide Normand’Hy, a 200 MW (megawatt) project based in Port-Jérôme, France that aims to avoid the emission of more than 250,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. 

Air Liquide Normand'Hy concept

Air Liquide Normand’Hy concept

Source: Air Liquide

“By scaling up the production of large-scale electrolysers, Air Liquide and Siemens Energy will be able to provide their customers with access to large amounts of competitive renewable hydrogen and to decarbonise their activities,” commented François Jackow, CEO, Air Liquide. 

Funding is currently being sought through the EU’s Innovation Fund, Green Deal, and Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI)-scheme for hydrogen. 

With Siemens holding 74.9% of the JV and Air Liquide holding the remaining 25.1%, the partners aim to begin production of the electrolysers in the second half of 2023 with a three-gigawatt annual production capacity in the crosshairs for 2025.