Oman to host 25GW of solar and wind for green hydrogen project

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Image: ACWA Power.

An international consortium has unveiled plans for a hydrogen complex in Oman that will feature 25GW of solar and wind capacity and produce millions of tonnes of green fuels per year.

The partners behind the mega project, which is already three years in the making, are Oman’s state-owned oil firm OQ, green fuels developer InterContinental Energy and Kuwait government-backed renewables investor EnerTech.

Given the complex’s location between Europe and Asia, the consortium said the development is “well positioned to offer a secure and reliable supply” of green fuels, producing hydrogen for local use, export or conversion into green ammonia.

A solar and wind monitoring analysis for the development has been underway in central Oman since 2019. According to the consortium, the area has the optimal diurnal profile of strong wind at night and reliable sun during the day, and is also located near the coast for seawater intake and electrolysis.

Meanwhile, given the amount of equipment required for a project of this scale, it could also support the development of Oman’s renewable energy supply chain, the partners behind the project claimed.

Alicia Eastman, co-founder and president of InterContinental Energy, said the development represents a “huge milestone in our mission to deliver cost-competitive zero carbon fuels at unprecedented scale” to meet growing global demand. “Only by decarbonising fuels as well as electrons will the world reach Paris climate agreement targets and increasingly stringent commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

InterContinental Energy is also part of a group behind another green hydrogen project in Western Australia that could feature 26GW of solar and wind. Called the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, the installation’s first stage secured environmental approval last year.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, clean energy developer ACWA Power is among the partners in a green hydrogen project in Saudi Arabia that will feature up to 4GW of solar and other renewables, while plans for a green hydrogen demonstrator plant in Abu Dhabi were revealed earlier this year, with Masdar, Siemens and Marubeni among the collaborators.

As the green hydrogen sector expands and benefits from economies of scale and government support, significant cost reductions in producing the fuel from solar are expected. Both the International Renewable Energy Agency and research firm IHS Markit predict renewables-powered hydrogen could be cost competitive with fossil fuel-produced hydrogen by 2030.

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