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Power-to-X: a Swiss army knife in the green transition

State of Green
By State of Green, August 27, 2020

A prominent group of Danish energy executives came together for State of Green’s GREEN TALK this morning to debate the role of power-to-X in the green transition.

Earlier this year, State of Green launched GREEN TALKS, a webinar series about different aspects of the global green transition. The premiere talk on 27 May focused on green recovery from the COVID19 pandemic, and this morning, GREEN TALK no. 2 zoomed in on Power-to-X (PtX). 450 people from 45 countries had signed up for the webinar that was live-streamed via State of Green’s website.

Speakers at today’s GREEN TALK included:

  • Tejs Laustsen Jensen, CEO, Hydrogen Denmark
  • Thomas Egebo, CEO, Energinet
  • Kim Grøn Knudsen, Executive Vice President, Sustainables Business Unit, Haldor Topsoe
  • Ulrik Stridbæk, Vice President, Ørsted
  • Ole Graa Jakobsen, Vice President, Maersk Line

The Swiss army knife in the energy system

After a short introduction by the webinar moderator, State of Green’s CEO Finn Mortensen, Tejs Laustsen Jensen provided a pedagogical overview of PtX and hydrogen – and argued for why Denmark and the world should speed up PtX ventures.

“Put simply, power-to-X enables the green transition as it empowers the conversion, storage and expansion of renewable energy – e.g. wind and solar – as well as transferral of renewable energy to CO2 heavy sectors such as transportation and industrial production,” he explained – adding that hydrogen is a “Swiss army knife” in the energy system as it offers multiple functions, e.g. methanol, ammonia and other carbon free fuels to be utilises in road transport, shipping, aviation, industrial manufacturing.

Finally, Tejs Laustsen Jensen argued that Denmark is uniquely positioned to play a leading role on the global PtX and hydrogen arena because of the country’s edge in renewable energy, notably wind power.

Browse through Tejs Laustsen Jensen’s introductory slides

-Related news: GREEN TALKS: Moving towards a Circular Economy

Climate action efforts drive the interest in PtX

Up next, the first “fireside chat” between Thomas Egebo, CEO of the Danish transmission system operator Energinet and Kim Grøn Knudsen, EVP, Sustainables Business Unit at Danish technology and catalyst company Haldor Topsoe.

“I believe that the current global interest in PtX is directly connected with the climate crisis. To solve this crisis we must shift to carbon neutral energy and green fuels. PtX offers an opportunity to do exactly this – and with our renewable energy infrastructure and competencies, Denmark obviously has very good opportunities in this technology area,” said Thomas Egebo.

“As I see it, the biggest potential in PtX lies in the fact that more than 25 per cent of today’s energy mix cannot easily be electrified [for example transportation]. A large share must go through electrolysis to be transformed to ammonia, methanol and other sustainable fuels. This transformation process holds very interesting opportunities for a company like Haldor Topsøe,” said Kim Grøn Knudsen.

Connecting the full value chain

In the second fireside chat, Ørsted’s Ulrik Stridbæk and Maersk Line’s Ole Graa Jakobsen debated the commercial potential and the business model in PtX from the perspective of a newly formed cross-industry partnership – together with other partners – around a large-scale PtX project in Copenhagen.

“Ørsted has turned to hydrogen and PtX because we have to exploit any vehicle to go all the way with decarbonisation. Secondly, PtX is a very good customer to offshore wind power, a business area in which Ørsted is a global leader,” Ulrik Stridbæk said.

“Maersk wants to lead the decarbonisation era of the shipping industry and we have a very ambitious target of carbon neutrality by 2050 in our own operation and, further, CO2 neutral vessels already by 2030. This journey starts now and we cannot sit around and wait for others to come up with the solutions needed. We wish to drive the development. This is also the background for moving into the PtX project with Ørsted and other partners,” said Ole Graa Jakobsen.

-Related news: Maersk sets net Zero CO2 emission target by 2050

 

Watch a recording of today’s Power-to-X GREEN TALK

 

Stay tuned for the next GREEN TALK

State of Green’s next GREEN TALK takes place Thursday next week, 3 September and the topic of this talk is circular economy.

The shift to a circular economy has become an integral and paramount piece in the green transition puzzle in Denmark as well as globally. With the aim to meet the demands of a growing population in a sustainable manner, citizens, corporations and public leaders are currently implementing circularity across a variety of areas.

Confirmed speakers for the event include:

Programme and registration for the circular economy GREEN TALK

 

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