The Scottish Affairs Committee has this week visited Cologne in Germany where they have witnessed first-hand the country’s efforts to produce green hydrogen – hydrogen solely produced using renewable energy.

The visit complements the Committee’s ongoing inquiry, Hydrogen and carbon capture in Scotland, where MPs are considering the merits and drawbacks of both green and blue hydrogen. Green hydrogen is made from splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis, and blue hydrogen is made from splitting natural gas into hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

In 2020, the German Government published its hydrogen strategy which stated that it only considers green hydrogen to be sustainable in the long term. As a result, the country has ramped up efforts to produce green hydrogen, with one such site being the REFHYNE green hydrogen electrolyser in Cologne, where the Committee visited.

During the site visit, the Committee heard about how the REFHYNE project has developed through funding, and that pan-European team working was noted as a driver of the project. The Committee visited the REFHYNE electrolyser site, saw the PEM electrolyser and the vital supporting infrastructure including electricity management, water purification and delivery into the industrial process.

Committee Member’s Comment

Scottish Affairs Committee Member Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

“Visiting the green hydrogen production facility as Shell’s Rhineland site has provided the Scottish Affairs Committee with extremely useful insights into this emerging sector. The working partnerships within the REFHYNE Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, which built and supported this green hydrogen project, demonstrate how government and private sector organisations are able to work together effectively to establish new production facilities for green hydrogen. It is clear that legislators have a key role in working with organisations to help enable a transition to cleaner sources of energy, and we will use the information gathered on this visit to inform our inquiry into hydrogen and carbon capture and storage in Scotland.”

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