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Power-to-X – an important building block for a CO2 neutral society

Updated: Jul 27

Several challenges must be overcome before Denmark can reach carbon neutrality by 2050

Denmark aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 70% by 2030, and be totally carbon neutral by 2050, along with the EU. Lots of green power from wind turbines and solar panels is required in order to replace fossil based energy, but not everything can easily be electrified.


Then there is the time frame - it would probably take 15-20 years to replace all our existing petrol and diesel powered passenger cars and short distance vans with electrical vehicles.


The processing industry requires very high temperatures for melting of steel etc. cannot replace coal, oil and gas with green electricity. And the global chemical industry uses tremendous amounts of hydrogen derived from fossil fuels. Transportation of huge amounts of electricity from big wind and solar farms to industrial and urban areas requires a lot of expensive and unpopular overhead high voltage lines.


Power-to-X (PtX, P2X) is the way to go


The solution to these challenges is Power-to-X (PtX, P2X), which is basically splitting water (H2O) into hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) by means of (preferably renewable) electricity.

The resulting green hydrogen can be used in industry and trucks, busses, cars and airplanes. It can also be combined with CO2 and turned into e-fuels (the X in PtX) for existing cars, trucks, vessels and airplanes.


Green hydrogen combined with nitrogen could be turned into green ammonia for farms and can be used as a CO2 free fuel for long distance vessels making use of existing ammonia facilities at international ports.


Due to this tremendous PtX potential the EU Commission has clearly stated, that 6 GW (corresponding to the power generation of 4500 land based wind turbines) of PtX capacity should be available in the EU by 2024 and 40 GW should be available by 2030.


There are still a number of issues to be handled concerning implementation of large scale PtX based green fuel production such as the availability of sufficient amounts of green power at a lower price as well as a lack of pipe infrastructure for transport of large amounts of green hydrogen from PtX plants to large scale green hydrogen consumers.


Denmark is poised to take the global lead in large-scale deployment of PtX capacity


In many ways, Denmark is an ideal country to handle these challenges. We have a high surplus of offshore wind at competitive price. Through two energy islands, Denmark will add an additional 5GW offshore wind capacity before 2030. Denmark has the lowest power prices (excl. taxes) in Europe and has clear ambitions on developing PtX. The Danish research institutions are #1 globally, when it comes to energy storage. In addition, Denmark could utilize much of the waste heat from PtX plants for district heating.


Invest in Denmark is promoting Denmark as the ideal location for large scale European PtX plants, and several Danish companies, like Green Hydrogen Systems, Haldor Topsøe, Everfuel and Maersk are working very proactively with European/Global PtX technology and solution development.


Get in touch with Investment Manager, Shanker Subramaniam, on shasub@um.dk for more information.

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