Energy transition

Tracking the Energy Transition: Earth, Wind, and Finnish Hydrogen

Wind projects take center stage around the world, while Canada finalizes a geothermal energy project. In Finland, construction begins on the country’s first industrial-scale green hydrogen facility.

Wind power station and global communication concept.
Source: metamorworks/Getty Images

Exxon Mobil Begins Construction in the Lone Star State
Exxon Mobil Corporation has announced plans to construct a large-scale hydrogen plant in Texas in 2027 or 2028. The plant will be part of Exxon’s new business plan to work with companies looking to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions and decarbonize their own emissions. Exxon has budgeted $7 billion for hydrogen, carbon-capture, and biofuels projects between 2022 and 2027. A final investment decision for the hydrogen project is expected by 2024.

While Air Products and AES Plan for Wind Power
Green hydrogen continues to make its way across the Lone Star State as Air Products and AES announced their plan to become the first large-scale producer of clean hydrogen from water in the country. The North Texas project plans to build a 900 MW wind farm, on par with the largest in Texas, plus a 500 MW solar farm for a total of 1.4 GW by 2027. “They’ve been working on hydrogen in Europe for a long time, and I think we’ve got to play catch-up here,” said Hugh Daigle, an associate professor of petroleum and geosystems engineering at the University of Texas Energy Institute and a former Chevron scientist. “The [Inflation Reduction Act] is enabling the development of these large-scale facilities that are going to be necessary to transition us to low-carbon energy.”

More Construction in Texas
Linde will soon be entering Texas as it recently signed an agreement to invest $1.8 billion in OCI’s new blue ammonia plant in Beaumont. As part of the investment, the company will build, own, and operate an on-site complex that will include autothermal reforming with carbon capture, plus a large air separation plant. Linde will supply clean hydrogen and nitrogen to OCI’s 1.1 million ton/year blue ammonia plant and will sequester more than 1.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. The project is estimated to begin in 2025. “Linde’s capabilities are already enabling the transition to a low-carbon-intensity economy,” said Sanjiv Lamba, Linde’s CEO. “Our strategy is to support decarbonization by working with off-takers, like OCI, to safely and reliably supply low-carbon industrial gases at scale. With Linde’s track record in successfully executing complex projects, its extensive pipeline network, and support from the US Inflation Reduction Act, the company is well positioned to secure many more clean energy projects.”

A Mighty Wind Blows in the Northeast
Equinor and BP have teamed up to bid in New York’s third offshore wind solicitation. Their bid aims to supply New Yorkers with renewable energy from the Beacon Wind 2 lease area, approximately 60 miles off the eastern tip of Long Island. Beacon Wind 2 is reported to produce 1,360 MW, capable of providing power to 1 million New York residences. “Equinor and BP are eager to build on the significant experience gained through our work in New York over the past 5 years to bring more offshore wind energy to the state,” said Molly Morris, Equinor’s head of wind power in the United States. The Beacon Wind 2 project is the fourth in Equinor and BP’s partnership with three other projects—Empire Wind 1 and 2 and Beacon Wind 1—expected to provide 3,300 MW to New Yorkers.

Baker Hughes Teams Up with Fortescue Future Industries
Baker Hughes and Fortescue Future Industries have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to explore potential opportunities for the scale-up and adoption of novel technology solutions for green hydrogen, green ammonia, and geothermal projects. “FFI and Baker Hughes share ambitions for transforming and accelerating the energy transition,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, chairman and CEO of Baker Hughes. “Our portfolio of technologies can help place both companies at the forefront of tackling climate change with practical and implementable solutions. We are excited to support FFI in its ambitions for a more sustainable future.”

BP and CF Industries Tackle Ammonia Production
CF Industries has announced a partnership with BP to supply 2.2 Bcf of certified natural gas in 2023. The agreement comes as CF Industries has also announced its intention to reduce Scope 3 emissions by 10% by 2030 and to reduce the lifecycle carbon intensity of ammonia production. CF Industries uses natural gas as a feedstock in the production of ammonia. “This initial purchase of certified natural gas is an important step in CF Industries’ decarbonization journey and reinforces our commitment to be at the forefront of low-carbon ammonia production,” said Tony Will, CF’s president and CEO.

A New Partnership Begins in Canada
Technip Energies will be expanding its energy transition efforts in Canada as the company recently announced the signing of two memorandums of understanding with PCL Industrial Management and Capital Engineering. The work with PCL will be focused on conceptual, front-end, and detailed engineering, procurement, and technical capabilities. The partnership with Capital Engineering will provide front-end engineering and design and engineering, procurement, and construction management services. “We are pleased to team up with PCL and Capital Engineering as we expand our services in Canada. There are many energy transition opportunities throughout the country, and we bring our depth of knowledge and experience from both a technology and an engineering standpoint,” Sean Ricketts, managing director for Technip’s Houston Operating Center, said in a recent press release.

While a Geothermal Project is Finalized
DEEP Earth Energy Production has announced its first geothermal project in Canada has been finalized. Field construction is set to begin in Q3 2023 in southeast Saskatchewan, with the facility expected to produce 25 MW. “We are a go,” said DEEP CEO Kirsten Marcia. “There is a market that is hungry for truly sustainable, renewable power projects. The technology is proven, the leases are in place, and initial government funding is confirmed.”

Canada Announces Sustainable Jobs Plan
Latest developments in Canada’s push toward the energy transition come as the country unveiled its sustainable jobs plan, which documents necessary training for workers in clean energy as the country plans to reach net-zero by 2050. The plan includes steps such as setting up a sustainable jobs secretariat to coordinate government policies and a partnership council to promote consultation with provinces, labor unions, and others. The release of this plan will be the first in a series to be released every 5 years. “Canada has what it takes to become the clean energy and technology supplier of choice in a net-zero world,” Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in a news release.

Offshore Wind Farms Set Up Shop in Germany
Equinor has teamed up with Germany energy group EnBW to develop two offshore wind farms in Germany. The country has set a target of 2030 to reach its goal of 80% renewable energy and said it plans to accelerate onshore wind installations to over 12 GW per year by 2025. “We are delighted to be working together with a strong partner like Equinor and combining the individual strengths of the two companies to develop German offshore wind,” said Michael Class, EnBW’s head of renewables portfolio development.

Solar Power Shines in China
China’s solar power will soon receive a boost as the country plans to add between 95 and 120 GW of solar power in 2023, according to a recent announcement from a solar manufacturing association. The world’s biggest solar products maker and solar power generator brought 87.41 GW of new solar power into operation in 2022, official data showed, driving the total installed capacity to 392.61 GW. “The development of solar power stations in China continues to face several problems despite a slight decrease in investment costs,” said Wang Bohua, honorary chairman of the China Photovoltaic Industry Association, at a conference.

Offshore Wind Projects Find a Home in South Korea
BP also announced a joint venture with Deep Wind Offshore to develop offshore wind opportunities in South Korea. Deep Wind Offshore is in the early stages of producing four projects throughout the Korean peninsula capable of producing 6 GW. This announcement comes as South Korea hopes to reach its goal of 22% of renewable energy by 2030. Knut Vassbotn, Deep Wind Offshore’s CEO, said, “We are extremely excited about partnering with BP to help realize our quality portfolio of projects in South Korea. There is a great fit between our highly competent development team and the BP execution capabilities. We look forward to integrating our teams to realize the projects in a sustainable manner, in close collaboration with local stakeholders, to bring both clean electricity to the country and opportunities to local supply chain and communities.” BP’s latest expansions include the hiring of 100 employees to its offshore wind division. The company announced plans to double the size of this department to 800 employees over the next 2 years. “That means bringing a lot of our talent within BP, but we will also have to find people from the outside,” Matthias Bausenwein, BP’s head of offshore wind, said in a recent Reuters report.

Finland Makes History
Construction began last month on Finland’s first industrial-scale green hydrogen production facility as reported by its future operator, P2X Solutions. The private Finnish company announced plans last year to invest $76 million into the facility with hopes to produce hydrogen and synthetic methane. “The actual construction of hydrogen projects that begins here is part of the positive change that is ongoing in the energy industry but which has, for now, been overshadowed by the energy crisis,” Finland’s minister of economic affairs, Mika Lintila, said at the laying of the facility’s founding stone.